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This Is Your Brain on Parasites: How Tiny Creatures Manipulate Our Behavior and Shape Society by [Kathleen McAuliffe]

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This Is Your Brain on Parasites: How Tiny Creatures Manipulate Our Behavior and Shape Society Reprint Edition, Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 133 ratings

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Length: 299 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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A fascinating account of an extraordinary suite of biological phenomena, only recently come to light and proving that given enough time and enough evolving species to work with, natural selection can accomplish almost anything. -Edward O. Wilson, Professor Emeritus, Harvard University, author of "Consilience." This book has all the elements of a crime thriller: violence, blood, gore, race and sex. But here the criminals areparasites. McAuliffe tells a vivid and sometimes horrifying tale of the hijackers that control our brains and our behaviour. In company with the best science writers, she shows us that reality can be way more interesting than fiction. -Valerie Curtis, Director of the Environmental Health Group of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and author of"Don t Look, Don t Touch, Don t Eat" Be prepared to throw away all your preconceptions about the order of life. Humorous, inspiring and macabre this is infectious reading in the tradition of giants like Robert S. Desowitz and Jared Diamond. -Michael A Huffman, associate professor, Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University "From start to finish, [McAuliffe] spins a consistently engrossing tale of invasive creatures that can alter your behavior and outlook, depress your cognitive functioning, and even make you more violent or sexually aggressive." -- Heather Havrilesky, Book Forum "

"If you've ever doubted the power of microbes to shape society and offer us a grander view of life, read on and find yourself duly impressed."-BookForum

"A fascinating account of an extraordinary suite of biological phenomena, only recently come to light and proving that given enough time and enough evolving species to work with, natural selection can accomplish almost anything."
-Edward O. Wilson, Professor Emeritus, Harvard University, author of Consilience.

"This book has all the elements of a crime thriller: violence, blood, gore, race and sex. But here the criminals are parasites. McAuliffe tells a vivid and sometimes horrifying tale of the hijackers that control our brains and our behaviour. In company with the best science writers, she shows us that reality can be way more interesting than fiction."
-Valerie Curtis, Director of the Environmental Health Group of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and author of Don't Look, Don't Touch, Don't Eat

"Be prepared to throw away all your preconceptions about the order of life. Humorous, inspiring and macabre--this is infectious reading in the tradition of giants like Robert S. Desowitz and Jared Diamond."
-Michael A Huffman, associate professor, Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University

"From start to finish, [McAuliffe] spins a consistently engrossing tale of invasive creatures that can alter your behavior and outlook, depress your cognitive functioning, and even make you more violent or sexually aggressive." -- Heather Havrilesky, Book Forum

Product Description

“Engrossing … [An] expedition through the hidden and sometimes horrifying microbial domain.” —Wall Street Journal

“Fascinating—and full of the kind of factoids you can't wait to share.” —Scientific American
 

Parasites can live only inside another animal and, as Kathleen McAuliffe reveals, these tiny organisms have many evolutionary motives for manipulating the behavior of their hosts. 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 their influence. Organisms we pick up from our own pets are strongly suspected of changing our personality traits and contributing to recklessness and impulsivity—even suicide. Germs that cause colds and the flu may alter our behavior even before symptoms become apparent.
 
Parasites influence our species on the cultural level, too. Drawing on a huge body of research, McAuliffe argues that our dread of contamination is an evolved defense against parasites. The horror and revulsion we are programmed to 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. 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.
 
“If you’ve ever doubted the power of microbes to shape society and offer us a grander view of life, read on and find yourself duly impressed.” —Heather Havrilesky, Bookforum 

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 27044 KB
  • Print Length: 299 pages
  • Publisher: Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Reprint edition (7 June 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B011H55MY0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #152,572 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Summer Bourne
2.0 out of 5 stars Title is misleading
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 November 2018
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The_price_of_bottled_water
5.0 out of 5 stars Really interesting
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 November 2017
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K Lidington
5.0 out of 5 stars A real eye-opener
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 February 2018
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Dr. R. H. Webber
4.0 out of 5 stars On parasites and there effects
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 April 2018
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Helen Marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating if a bit thought provoking.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 July 2019
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Navi
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read!
Reviewed in Canada on 21 December 2019
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Magdalena Klos
5.0 out of 5 stars It is the perfect book for someone open to learning some of the ...
Reviewed in Canada on 19 December 2017
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dave kinsey
5.0 out of 5 stars A mut read
Reviewed in Canada on 18 July 2016
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Mary S
5.0 out of 5 stars Throughly interesting
Reviewed in Canada on 1 October 2016
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barbel paetsch
4.0 out of 5 stars Is there a free will?
Reviewed in Canada on 15 August 2016
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Lector ecológico
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesante
Reviewed in Spain on 9 October 2016
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Tamra
5.0 out of 5 stars really interesting
Reviewed in Canada on 30 August 2018
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Anon
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in Canada on 8 September 2017
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DK13000
3.0 out of 5 stars Flippant
Reviewed in France on 7 October 2019
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Marcela
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinante!
Reviewed in Brazil on 8 February 2019
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