Why are animals better at navigating adolescence than human teenagers?

B. Natterson-Horowitz, MD

Humans aren't unique in having an adolescent stage, but we are pretty unique in how we react to it. Why do other species find it easier to surf the trials and turmoils of this challenging life phase than we do?

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Do humans and animals have a shared experience of adolescence?

Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz's fascinating work at Harvard University and UCLA takes learnings from the animal world and applies them to questions of human health and development. Her most recent research focuses on species-wide patterns across critical transitional periods of life, including the transition from adolescence to adulthood, which is the focus of her bestselling book, Wildhood.

Barbara joins us in The Garden to explore the animal nature of human adolescence and what defines this critical life stage across species.

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Talk outline


50 minutes

What to expect

30 minute talk

20 minute Member Q&A

B. Natterson-Horowitz, MD

In her work at Harvard University, B studies a diverse range of animals to better understand human health challenges, including heart failure, seizures, dementia, infertility, anxiety and eating disorders.

Thank you notes from Garden members

The Teenage Brain Collection

Adolescence is characterised by behaviours and emotions that seem inexplicable to us as adults, from mood swings and risk-taking to peer pressure. This collection is a deep dive into what makes the teenage brain so unique.