Can Parasites Control Human Behavior?

Very interesting article about brain-controlling parasites:
How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy

Jaroslav Flegr is no kook. And yet, for years, he suspected his mind had been taken over by parasites that had invaded his brain. So the prolific biologist took his science-fiction hunch into the lab. What he’s now discovering will startle you. Could tiny organisms carried by house cats be creeping into our brains, causing everything from car wrecks to schizophrenia?

Since parasites can control other animals’ behavior, why wouldn’t it be possible that humans are also susceptible?

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An update:


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Here’s a newer one that looks into whether toxoplasmosis increases the chance that a person becomes an entrepreneur.

There is growing evidence that human biology and behavior is influenced by infectious microorganisms. One such microorganism is the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii (TG). Using longitudinal data covering the female population of Denmark, we extend research on the relationship between TG infection and entrepreneurial activity and outcomes. Results indicate that TG infection is associated with a subsequent increase in the probability of becoming an entrepreneur, and is linked to other outcomes including venture performance. With parasite behavioral manipulation antithetical to rational judgement, we join a growing conversation on biology and alternative drivers of business venturing.

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you mean like kids ? :grinning:

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Well, this is amazing and I can at least mention a pattern that seems related –
our brain+behavior can be changed by parasites
our brain+behavior can be changed by environment stimuli
our brain+behavior can be changed by sounds entering the ear and meanings processed
our brain+behavior can be changed by food, supplements
our brain+behavior can be changed by temperature, time of day, brightness of room

well our brain+behavior can be changed by a whole lot. this makes me wonder how “I’m” interacting with all these stimuli! that is absolutely fascinating, mysterious, and amazing

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Related: Does Free Will Exist?