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This Is Your Brain on Parasites
This Is Your Brain on Parasites: How Tiny Creatures Manipulate Our Behavior and Shape Society | Kathleen McAuliffe
16 posts | 5 read | 19 to read
A riveting investigation of the myriad ways that parasites control how other creaturesincluding humansthink, feel, and act. These tiny organisms can only live inside another animal, and as McAuliffe reveals, they have many evolutionary motives for manipulating their hosts behavior. Far more often than appreciated, these puppeteers orchestrate the interplay between predator and prey. With astonishing precision, parasites can coax rats to approach cats, spiders to transform the patterns of their webs, and fish to draw the attention of birds that then swoop down to feast on them. We humans are hardly immune to the profound influence of parasites. Organisms we pick up from our own pets are strongly suspected of changing our personality traits and contributing to recklessness, impulsivityeven suicide. Microbes in our gut affect our emotions and the very wiring of our brains. Germs that cause colds and flu may alter our behavior even before symptoms become apparent. Parasites influence our species on the cultural level too. As McAuliffe documents, a subconscious fear of contagion impacts virtually every aspect of our lives, from our sexual attractions and social circles to our morals and political views. Drawing on a huge body of research, she argues that our dread of contamination is an evolved defense against parasitesand a double-edged sword. The horror and revulsion we feel when we come in contact with people who appear diseased or dirty helped pave the way for civilization, but may also be the basis for major divisions in societies that persist to this day. In the tradition of Jared Diamonds Guns, Germs and Steel and Neil Shubins Your Inner Fish, This Is Your Brain on Parasites is both a journey into cutting-edge science and a revelatory examination of what it means to be human.
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Smyers96
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Ever wondered how much of you you really are? Or how easily you can be hijacked? Or even just looking for research because you're writing fiction concerning a parasitic infection? This book covers all the bases and then some!

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MicrobeMom
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Getting a little fun reading in at 🏊‍♀️ 🏊‍♂️ lessons before I got home to finish work. #readwhereever

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MicrobeMom
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My Friday evening consists of a short run and a little 🥋 class reading. #fridaynight #readeverywhere

mdhughes72 How far is a ‘short run‘ for you? 9mo
MicrobeMom @mdhughes72 short a mile and a half. I hate to run but my 🥋 black belt practice starts soon and we need to run. 9mo
38 likes2 comments
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KrystleTheBookSlayer
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1) My view while walking my dog.
2) Yes, the apartment is nice, I have a big closet & my own bathroom, I have good neighbors, and I love my balcony. I just don't like our winter.
3) I haven't finished it yet, bit so far it is an interesting read.
4) afternoon or evening. Not too late or too early usually.
5) I'm at work tonight, so I will probably just have a peanut butter banana sandwich.
@howjessreads #Friyayintro

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KrystleTheBookSlayer
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Taking a break from studying and starting this read. I love shows like "Monsters Inside Me", so of course I had to buy a book about how parasites manipulate behavior.

whippoorwill815 I don‘t think I‘ve ever met another person besides my brother who watched Monsters Inside Me! 😂 I loved that show! 10mo
KrystleTheBookSlayer @whippoorwill815 I love it! I binge watch it whenever it's on, but it completely grosses out my roommate though! 😂 10mo
52 likes1 stack add2 comments
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MicrobeMom
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Reading while my son takes karate and before my class start. Always a good time to get caught up! 🥋 #karateandreading

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MicrobeMom
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On exam day I get to catch up on some reading! #meanprofessor #readwhereyoucan

BookaholicNatty ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 10mo
46 likes1 comment
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Mimi28
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@MicrobeMom I got this book from the library because you recommended it. I like creepy medical stuff, sometimes, lol. The other one I got off of a list somewhere, most likely book riot, maybe buzzfeed 🤷🏽‍♀️lol. Anywhoo, this is today‘s #libraryhaul I decided to put my lucky troll doll in the pic this time instead of a cat. I had it waaaayy before the movie Trolls came out, lol. It‘s so special it made the move and I actually know where it is!!❤️

OrangeMooseReads Well that looks like an interesting read 11mo
MicrobeMom Yay! I hope you enjoy. Parasites are fascinating! I found it easy to read (i.e., the science is not too heavy or hard to understand). 11mo
Mimi28 @OrangeMooseReads I‘m hoping it will be, thanks ❤️❤️ 11mo
See All 6 Comments
Mimi28 @MicrobeMom Thanks!! That‘s good to know. I wanted to be a doctor until junior year chemistry class and I was the only one without a lab partner, lol darn Bunsen burners, I said- this is too much!! But I have always been interested in medical stuff. I was one semester away from being a phlebotomist but I was drinking heavy at the time and the one person in class I did get said I was stabbing them 😂 I also had the shakes real bad. Memories... lol 11mo
Mimi28 @MicrobeMom been sober 6 years this May 👍🏽👍🏽 ❤️❤️ 11mo
MicrobeMom Chemistry is hard! Not my fav. Congrats you 6 year sober. That is great! Let me know when you finish if you enjoyed the book! ❤️❤️ 11mo
62 likes1 stack add6 comments
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MicrobeMom
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Parasite that make you act like a zombie! Who wouldn‘t want to read about this? #awesome 🧟‍♀️ 🧟‍♂️

julesG Read, yes. Experience first hand, no. 😉 11mo
Mimi28 Oooooo!! Stacked!! Thanks!! 11mo
MicrobeMom @julesG yes! No argument from me! 🤣😂 11mo
44 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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MicrobeMom
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Using this book in my Eukaryotic Microbiology class this semester. I guess I better start reading it. #badprofessor

CouronneDhiver Yikes 😳 11mo
Lauram I‘m so glad I remember what that is after all of these years (eukaryote). That book looks fascinating. (edited) 11mo
MicrobeMom @Laura haha awesome!!! You know the big cells! 11mo
41 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Reagan-reads
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#riotgrams #bookmarks I am notorious for losing bookmarks, but this one came in my first Bookish Box, a gift from my mother in law.

HeatherBookNerd Les Miz 💕 3y
Varshitha Me too, I keep loosing them.. 3y
Jessica_Jean I have bookmarks, but always end up using old reciepts 😀 3y
31 likes3 comments
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FarrahK
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I MUST READ THIS... when my MBA is done.

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MelanieMefford
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Rebecca Schinsky! From listening to you on All the Books, I just KNOW that you will love this book. It's fascinating. I'm reading books I never would have if it weren't for you opening my mind to science. Thanks! I love you and your fellow podcat! @rebeccaschinsky

JoeStalksBeck Ohhh does this have cordecpts in ! (Sp?) (edited) 3y
MelanieMefford I just started it this am. Don't know yet. I love it though! 3y
12 likes2 comments
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MelanieMefford
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So excited!! Anyone else worry that books interfere with their relationships? I have to force myself to put books down to socialize. 😬😬

BarbaraTheBibliophage I have the parasites book, and I'm more nervous how it'll make me feel about eating! 3y
MelanieMefford I'm hoping I learn that pizza will make me drive off a bridge. That way MAYBE I'll stop eating it? 3y
11 likes2 comments
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sunflowers
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#Currentlyreading
A very interesting book so far! Not a book to read before you go to sleep unless you want some crazy dreams, lol!

geodynamical Does it mention parasites from pets? I have a hunch. Tell me, I want to know. 😮🤔 Which pet? 😐 3y
sunflowers Well so far...crickets and cats (litterbox) but the visuals are a little creepy lol they seem most interested in the effects on humans but I am very early on in the book😊 3y
sunflowers One of the most interesting books I've read in a while ... the implications for human beings are far reaching and should be further studied 3y
19 likes2 stack adds3 comments