Stuart Brown, M.D. is a medical doctor, psychiatrist, clinical
researcher, and the founder of the National Institute for Play. He
speaks regularly to Fortune 500 companies and groups across the
country on the significance of play in our lives. The producer of a
three-part PBS series, The Promise of Play, he has also
appeared on NPR and was featured in a front-page story in The
New York Times Magazine. He lives in Carmel Valley,
Christopher Vaughan has been a journalist for more than twenty years. He cowrote the national bestseller The Promise of Sleep.
Brown, a physician, psychiatrist, clinical researcher and the founder of the National Institute for Play, has made a career of studying the effects of play on people and animals. His conclusion is that play is no less important than oxygen, and that it's a powerful force in nature that helps determine the likelihood of the very survival of the human race. Having studied thousands of people's play histories, from murderers to Nobel Prize winners, Brown reveals that play is an essential way humans learn to socialize. Beginning with the very first play interactions between mother and child, and working up to adult relationships between couples and co-workers, Brown describes how play helps brain development and promotes fairness, justice and empathy. Work and play are mutually supportive, he argues, noting that play increases efficiency and productivity (playful folks, he claims, are also healthier). Sprinkled with anecdotes demonstrating the play habits of subjects as diverse as polar bears and corporate CEOs, Brown and co-writer Vaughan (The Promise of Sleep) present a compelling case for promoting play at every age. The authors include helpful tips for bringing play back into grownup lives, including being active, spending time with others who are playful and rethinking the misguided notion that adult play is silly or undignified. (Mar.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.