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Burr and Burton Academy AP Bio TED(ish) Talk: “This is Your Brain on Parasites”

June 4 @ 6:00pm-7:00pm


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

Presented by: Hazel Cornwell ’25, Ben Kirkpatrick ’25, Xavier Travers Adolphus ’25, and Sofia DeBitetto ’24

Have you ever wondered why you do what you do? If you may not be in full control of yourself? Perhaps an outside force is influencing your decisions completely unbeknownst to you. This plot has been an aspect of science fiction or horror movies for over a century—artificial intelligence controls our reality in The Matrix, and aliens fall from the sky and impersonate us in Men in Black. These stories are far fetched, but in a world we live in, truth may be stranger than fiction. Parasitology, as you can probably guess, is the study of parasitic organisms and relationships in biology. It is a field which has recently become popular as it reveals the unseen effects of parasites in individuals, food chains, and even human society in ways never before imagined. Our book, “This Is Your Brain on Parasites” by  Kathleen McAuliffe, offers a glance into the functionally invisible lives of parasites, allowing us to learn more about a truly fascinating aspect of the planet we live in which could be affecting us and our decisions without our knowledge.

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