Research Digest blog:
showing that a disease-themed slide show makes people feel less sociable and extravert, and primes their motor system for repelling other people. reminders of disease makes us view ourselves as less outgoing and gregarious, especially if we're the kind of person who's already fairly neurotic about infection.
If these effects are real, you'd expect them to have some effect on actual behaviour.
'...It appears that humans have evolved a mechanism that responds to environmental cues of disease and modulates attitudes and behaviours in functionally appropriate ways,' the researchers said.
A body memory? This could also collaborate with the immune system. Our thoughts are real, Damasio showed us once. They have as big impact as real happenings.
Mortensen, C., Becker, D., Ackerman, J., Neuberg, S., & Kenrick, D. (2010). Infection Breeds Reticence: The Effects of Disease Salience on Self-Perceptions of Personality and Behavioral Avoidance Tendencies. Psychological Science, 21 (3), 440-447 DOI: 10.1177/0956797610361706