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How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse Using Science

By- ANGELA WATERCUTTER,Science Relief Contributor

Science of Surviving Zombie Apocalypse


Science of Surviving Zombie Apocalypse 2

n the event of a zombie apocalypse it will probably help to have: a baseball bat, a gun, a chainsaw and a plethora of blunt objects. Also, it helps to possess a strong grasp of neuroscience.
The quick, handy guide above (not to be confused with the one from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) shows many of the neurological problems zombies have and how the non-undead can exploit those weaknesses. It includes every malady, from ghouls’ slow motor skills to terrible amnesia.
Believe it or not, the guide to surviving the zombie apocalypse is actually derived from real neuroscience. The charts are largely based on a presentation (see video below) by UC Berkeley neuroscientist Bradley Voytek, who re-created what the zombie brain would look like based on cognitive problems observed in films like 28 Days LaterShaun of the Dead and The Return of the Living Dead.
Based on that map of the zombie brain, Voytek and a fellow neuroscientist Timothy Verstynenestablished that the walking dead suffered from a condition they called Consciousness Deficit Hypoactivity Disorder. CDHD is characterized by “the loss of rational, voluntary and conscious behavior replaced by delusional/impulsive aggression, stimulus-driven attention, the inability to coordinate motor-linguistic behaviors and an insatiable appetite for human flesh.”
Yeah, zombies.
“When Tim and I were working on our neuroscience Ph.D.s at Berkeley we discovered a mutual love for the zombie genre,” Voytek said in an e-mail to Wired.com. “Over time (and probably beers) we started talking about what a zombie brain would ‘have to look like’ given their ‘observable behaviors’ in film.”
‘Over time (and probably beers) we started talking about what a zombie brain would have to look like.’
In their research, the scientists were able to determine that humans can exploit many zombie deficiencies. For example, abuse the undead’s poor motor skills by running fast, take advantage of their amnesia by hiding until they forget about you, or activate their Capgras delusions by mimicking their actions so they don’t attack you.
“This entire endeavor is partly an academic ‘what if’ exercise for us and partly a tongue-in-cheek critique of the methods of our profession of cognitive neuroscience,” Verstynen said.
Want to know more about surviving the undead apocalypse with science? Visit the Zombie Research Society. Voytek, who it should be noted does actual important neuroscience work on strokes and memory, among other things, is on the board. So is “Godfather of the Dead” George A. Romero.
“If someone accidentally learns something about the brain along the way,” Voytek said, “then I’ve achieved my goal.”


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Posted by Omkarr singh on Sunday, January 06, 2013. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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