Monkey love and new experiences

From a review of Monkeyluv: And other lessons on our lives as animals by Robert Sapolsky.

Let’s start with Paul. He’s a fresh-faced young temp whose eclectic taste in music gets 40-something Sapolsky wondering why the soundtrack to his own life has shrunk to a couple of Mahler symphonies and a trusted tape of Bob Marley’s greatest hits. In typical Sapolsky style, he takes the idea and runs with it. He wants to know at what age people become closed to new experiences such as a novel genre of music, raw fish with horseradish, or having a stud put thorough their tongue. He calls a bunch of radio stations, then sushi bars, and finally 25 body-piercing parlours. His conclusions – 35 for music, 39 for food and 23 for body decorations – make depressing reading for anyone contemplating a midlife crisis. It seems that our taste for adventure is one of the first casualties of ageing.

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