ants & parasites, and brains

mlevin at forte.cs.tufts.edu mlevin at forte.cs.tufts.edu
Tue Oct 22 20:11:12 EST 1991


I am searching for references to three separate phenomena:
1) I saw a PBS special a long time ago about people who had
microcephaly (or was it hydrocephaly?) - extremely small amounts of
brain tissue, but they were functioning normally - they were finishing
college, etc. I have also heard of a paper (by Lorber?) called "Is
your brain really necessary?" discussing this. If anyone knows the
full citation of this paper, or anything else on this topic, please
email it to me. 
2) I have heard that some brain-transplantation studies were done in
monkeys. I would appreciate any references to this.
3) It seems there is some sort of
parasite which needs to spend part of its life cycle in a sheep. So,
this parasite somehow gets ingested by an ant, where it causes the ant
to exhibit the following behavior. The ant climbs up a tall grass
strand, and just sits there until a sheep comes along and eats it. I
am fascinated by the ability of this thing to "interface" to the ant's
nervous system. If anyone knows of references to this, or has any
information or ideas about it, I'd love to hear it. Please email it to me.

Mike Levin (mlevin at forte.cs.tufts.edu)



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