Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Must Love Cats

A parasitic microbe commonly found in cats might have helped shape entire human cultures by manipulating the personalities of infected individuals, according to a new study.

Infection by a Toxoplasma gondii could make some individuals more prone to some forms of neuroticism and could lead to differences among cultures if enough people are infected, says Kevin Lafferty, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

In a survey of different countries, Lafferty found that people living in those with higher rates of T. gondii infection scored higher on average for neuroticism, defined as an emotional or mental disorder characterized by high levels of anxiety, insecurity or depression.


23 comments:

Rot said...

I dig on cats.

crudedoodle.com said...

That picture is amazing.

Pam Morris said...

well, that tells me all I need to know about my dysfuntional self...(love all my cats)

Rot said...

Exactly.

I love my soft magic cat.

NoahFentz said...

I love my cats too!!

(my cats told me to write this)

Rot said...

I'm totally infected.

ShellHawk said...

So-----is that the first published pic of Rot, himself?

Wow. Um, you're so much different from what I expected.

;oD

Countess VonRauber said...

LOL, loving this! I think I'd be insane without my beloved fuzzies ;)

The Frog Queen said...

Well, that explains a lot. A whole lot.

So maybe my Dor kitty is not crazy, her owner is....well, that explains even more.

Is it just me or are there a lot of cat owning Halloween people....hummmmmmmm....

:D

Cheers!

Der Krampus said...

Rot, what the heck is a 'soft magic cat' ??????

Rot said...

Totally not me in the pic : D

And the soft magic cat...that's just the microbes talking. In my brain.

JD said...

This can't be true, little midnight wouldn't infect me, would she....

GoneferalinID said...

Dog owner here, grew up with cats. Their mind-controlling abilities are scary.

Marrow said...

@shellhawk.
It's bean!

When I was 3 years old, our cat died and we buried her in the garden. For the next month I would occasionally blurt out "STILL DEAD!!!", and asked on multiple occasions to dig her up again.

Our current cat's breath smells like fish sauce. I HATE fish.
Eugh.

Marrow said...

But that doesn't mean I don't love him.

Marrow said...

But that doesn't mean he loves me.

Rot said...

Ha..not bean either!

I totally should have linked that photo's source... now I can't find it. I think I did a search for "crazy lady with tons of cats" and that guy came up : )

Jay's Shadow said...

Well,all I can say is my black lab makes me go nuts. Never had a cat. Makes me sneezey....

K.O. said...

Oh no! I guess I'm gonna have to be neurotic forever then. (Worth it!) And PS my gray velvet kitty looks just like the one in the photo. Hmmm... So maybe that's ME in the photo!

EWM said...

Cats keep me sane.

Shotgun_Mario said...

just imagine whole civilizations of these parasitic worms subtlety controlling a large majority of us to do what they see fit...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ylDNMNNwaE


...and we wouldn't even realize it's happening.

Sara said...

uhm....I love dogs? lol.

Also, parasites are so freaking fascinating!!!!!!!

MorbidMariah said...

My kitty give me love, and purrs, and PARASITES! :) She likes to share.