The reality of brain Zombification

Zombification may seem a strange title for me to have in my blog, but I read a fascinating article in the Daily Telegraph a couple of months ago which caught my imagination. It was titled –There are zombies amoung us- by Jerome Burne, and its main thrust was ” Forget free will- many of us could be taking orders from parasites inside our brains.”

As I understand it, we behave how we do because of several factors.

  • Societal, we are brought up and educated by our parents and society to behave in certain ways at certain times.
  • Spiritual, some feel that our behaviour is also influenced by our spiritual or soul dimension, which works in harmony with our biological bodies to make us us.
  • Biologically, our brains, the organic computers that organise our bodies and enable us to think, are obtained from the genetics of our parents. Our thoughts and actions, some think, can be said to come  wholly from these genetics (The determinist view). We can however override these biologically driven instructions with something called free will.
  • Free will, Giving us the ability to over ride our genetics and behave differently, this is considered to be either the function of a developed brain or a gift from God.

It is this total free will that Mr Burne is calling into question.

His contention is that there are parasites that lodge in the brain and influence human behaviour. They can influence how sexy you feel, how angry or frightened and even how you dress. This is called neuroparasitology or, in common terms, Zombie reprogramming. These parasites are thus affecting your pure free will. Up to 40 % of the population apparently may be affected by one.


Are we in control of our actions?

It is thought that  parasites often favour the brain as it shelters them from the full force of our immune systems. They are then given access to the machinery to alter the hosts behaviour in ways that will favour the parasites needs.

One example he gives is that of Toxoplasma gondii. This is found in domestic cats and affects 350,000 people a year in Britain alone. It is linked to disturbed behaviours such as reckless driving and a  greater suicide risk.

The aim of the parasite is to get back into a cat. Thus it is makes its host behave in such a way that boosts its  chances of being eaten, by encouraging the host to engage in destructive behavior.  For instance, it is thought that the increased number of car crashes occurring to those with Toxo  can be put down to its damping of the  fear responses in those infected.

Even flu vaccine can seemingly affect human behavior. Study of academic staff at a New York State University found that after the flu vaccine staff increased their sociability noticeably. Mixing with a greater number of people gives virus’s greater chances of finding new hosts.


So the theory that  hiding in the brain lets parasites influence our behaviour, whilst being shielded from our immune system. We are thus being zombified as we are not in total control of our actions. Our free will, which makes us human, is being compromised. Scary!!!!

It makes you wonder what other factors may be controlling our actions that we are not aware of.

What do you think?





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