A Great Way to Get Less Sleep Tonight

21 Feb

If you haven’t read this article in The Atlantic and are looking for a) new ways to fuel your nightmares or b) an interesting read on a unique line of schizophrenia research, check it out:

How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy

If you’re like me, you’ll probably read the headline and first paragraph, chortle because you can already tell that this article is going to be the stupidest article ever, and then feel a growing sense of horror as you continue reading and realize that the article is actually pretty well-researched and maybe there really are cat protozoans that can subtly puppet a human brain. You will look suspiciously at your cats. You will do a cursory lit review on Google Scholar, hoping to find evidence that all of this stuff is made up and/or the product of blatantly crappy research, and you will not find the comfort you are looking for. Oh, no.

Admittedly, this line of research could potentially have really cool implications for our understandings of schizophrenia etiology and treatment, and that’s worth getting excited about. But it also brings up some disturbing thoughts. If T. gondii really is capable of discreetly altering human behavior, what other microscopic “puppeteers” might be out there? Have cat ownership and my lazy approach to vegetable-washing already converted my brain into a teeming mass of protozoan cysts? Could these protozoans be early evolutionary precursors to a Yeerk race bent on taking over the world via brain infiltration? You know, rational thoughts like those.

What reactions do you guys have?

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