2014.05.28【英译中】玩耍是一件严肃的事(一)

SuzumiYuki (清水有希) 路人甲
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发表于:2014-05-28 17:49 [只看楼主] [划词开启]

Play is a serious business

玩耍是一件严肃的事

 

Does play help develop bigger, better brains? Bryant Furlow investigates

玩耍是否对开发出更大更聪明的大脑有帮助?且看布莱恩特·弗洛的研究。


A.     Playing is a serious business. Children engrossed in a make-believe world, fox cubs play-fighting or kittens teasing a ball of string aren’t just having fun. Play may look like a carefree and exuberant way to pass the time before the hard work of adulthood comes along, but there’s much more to it than that.
玩耍是一件严肃的事。小孩子做白日梦,小狐狸打着玩,小猫咪玩弄毛线球,都不只是为了玩。玩耍也许看起来像一件孩子们用来在辛劳的成年期来临前无忧无虑精力旺盛地度过自己童年的一种方式,但它的意义并不止如此。

For a start, play can even cost animals their lives. Eighty percent of deaths among juvenile fur seals occur because playing pups fail to sport predators approaching. It is also extremely expensive in terms of energy. Playful young animals use around two or three per cent of energy cavorting, and in children that figure can be closer to fifteen per cent. ‘Even two or three per cent is huge,’ says John Byers of Idaho University. ‘You just don’t find animals wasting energy like that,’ he adds. There must be a reason.
最开始的时候,玩耍可能会要了动物们的命。在死亡的幼年毛海豹中,有80%是因为在玩耍时没有注意到天敌的接近。玩耍同样是一件很浪费能量的事情。爱玩耍的小动物们把2-3%的能量用来跳来跳去,而小孩要在这上用掉接近15%的能量。“即使2-3%也不少了,”爱达荷大学的约翰·柏尔斯表示,“动物不会这样浪费能量。”他补充道。这绝不是事出无因。

B.     But if play is not simply a developmental hiccup, as biologists once thought, why did it evolve? The latest idea suggests that play has evolved to build big brains. In other words, playing makes you intelligent. Playfulness, it seems, is common only among mammals, although a few of the larger-brained birds also indulge.
但是如果和生物学家之前认为的一样,玩耍只是成长中的小小错误,那么它为什么会被演化出来?最新的设想认为玩耍在进化中使动物长出更大的大脑。换句话说,玩耍让你更聪明。爱玩的天性好像只在哺乳动物中比较普遍,虽然一些脑容量大的鸟类也会玩耍。

Animals at play often use unique signs – tail-wagging in dogs, for example – to indicate that activity superficially resembling adult behavior is not really in earnest. In popular explanation of play has been that it helps juveniles develop the skills they will need to hunt, mate and socialise as adults. Another has been that it allows young animals to get in shape for adult life by improving their respiratory endurance. Both these ideas have been questioned in recent years.
玩耍中的动物们经常有特殊的标志——比如说,狗会摇尾巴——来表现出这些表面上像成年体的这些行为并不是认真的。在大众解释中,玩耍曾被认为是帮助幼体学习他们所需技能的方式,为它们成年后的捕猎,求偶和族群生活做铺垫。另一个解释说玩耍通过提升动物体力来使它们为成年生活做准备。近年来这两种观点都得到了质疑。

C.     Take the exercise theory. If play evolved to build muscle or as a kind of endurance training, then you would expect to see permanent benefits. But Byers points out that the benefits of increased exercise disappear rapidly after training stops, so many improvement in endurance resulting from juvenile play would be lost by adulthood. ‘If the function of play was to get into shape,’ says Byers, ‘the optimum time for playing would depend on when it was most advantageous for the young of a particular species to do so. But it doesn’t work like that.’ Across species, play tends to peak about halfway through the suckling stage and then decline.
首先是锻炼理论。如果玩耍被演化出来是为了锻炼肌肉或者耐力,那么它应当体现出永久性的益处。但是柏尔斯指出,玩耍在锻炼上的益处在停止玩耍后会很快停止,所以幼体在玩耍时得到的耐力增长在它们长成后就完全消失了。“如果玩耍的作用是锻炼,”柏尔斯说,“最佳的玩耍时间应该决定于某种动物在什么时间玩耍最有利,但是一般并不是这样。”在不同种类动物之间,玩耍在动物的母乳期中出现最多,在此之后就处于下降趋势。

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