brain jacking

brain jacking

A popular term for the commandeering of the brain of one species of organism by another, analogous to hijacking (the taking of vehicle in the possession of another by force).

The prototypic brain jacking is effected by acanthocephala, the spiny- or thorny-headed worm that infects Gammarus lacustris, a small crustacean that feeds near ponds and rivers. Infection by the thorny-headed worm floods the G lacustris brain with serotonin, reducing its photophobic behaviour; the brain-jacked crustacean surfaces where it is eaten by ducks, which are the final host for the ancanthocephala parasite.