This Is your Brain on Parasites

This Is your Brain on Parasites

How Tiny Creatures Manipulate Our Behavior and Shape Society

Book - 2016
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"Based on a wildly popular Atlantic article: an astonishing investigation into the world of microbes, and the myriad ways they control how other creatures -- including humans -- act, feel, and think As we are now discovering, parasites -- microbes that cannot thrive and reproduce without another organism as a host -- are shockingly sophisticated and extraordinarily powerful. In fact, a plethora of parasites affect our behavior in ways we have barely begun to understand. In this mind-bending book, McAuliffe reveals the eons-old war between parasites and other creatures that is playing out in our very own bodies. And more surprising still, she uncovers the decisive role that parasites may have played in the rise and demise of entire civilizations. Our obsession with cleanliness and our experience of disgust are both evolutionary tools for avoiding infection, but they evolved differently for different populations. Political, social, and religious differences among societies may be caused, in part, by the different parasites that prey on us. In the tradition of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel and Neil Shubin's 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."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Boston :, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,, 2016
ISBN: 9780544192225
0544192222
Characteristics: 268 pages, [16] pages of plates ; 24 cm

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pm221
May 10, 2017

Totally gripping if you can get past the inevitable yuck factor ( and yes there is a fascinating couple of chapters on why that is important in its own right). The author includes disease causing micro-organisms as well as more traditional parasites, and develops a fascinating theory on how disease and parasite load influence culture and societies as well as our individual brains.

EscapesToBooks Oct 11, 2016

Creepy and weird, but the stories are completely riveting.

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