May 18, 2022

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What lies behind the behavior of zombies? science answers

Two scientists have reconstructed a zombie’s brain to study its properties

  • The term “zombie” means a living dead man who is constantly searching for human flesh
  • This acting has become a part of popular culture today thanks to the world of cinematography
  • There are many movies depicting these pesky creatures
  • Researchers Bradley Vojtek and Tim Versteinen analyzed the neurological criteria that characterize their violent behaviour
  • According to research, zombies suffer from “hyperactivity disorder and lack of consciousness”

In popular culture, and especially in film culture, zombies are represented as living dead whose goal is to attack, bite, and transform humans into their fellow humans. But what drives these feral creatures to engage in such aggressive behavior?

Neuroscientists Bradley Vojtek and Tim Versteinen spent a lot of time examining what goes on in the brain of zombies. To understand the processes and physiology of what happens in the head of a cattle cadaver, it was first necessary to understand its neural aspects.

From the results obtained, we have finally come to explain some of the most common and well-known zombie behaviors.

Just think, for example, about the insatiable hunger of the human body that these specimens constantly feel. This action is due to a loss of function in the hypothalamus, an area of ​​the brain primarily involved in the secretion of hormones and the regulation of major body needs such as thirst, hunger, fatigue, sleep and temperature.

Another characteristic that immediately catches the eye when we find ourselves “in front of” zombies is their strange run. Where exactly does this unusual trend come from? According to Verstyn and Voytek, undead put their feet on the ground as if they were suffering from cerebellar ataxia, a disorder caused by damage to the cerebellum that leads to problems such as imbalance and verbal difficulty.

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Resurrection phenomenon

Moreover, these creatures do not have strong eyesight. Indeed, when searching for prey, they can hardly focus their attention only on what is in their direct field of view. Also, according to experts, these symptoms are attributed to the famous Ballet syndrome, which significantly reduces spatial attention and perceptual awareness of those who suffer from it.

However, not all groaning corpses will move slowly, but there will be especially fast and fast “exceptions”. This would lead to less impairment in their nervous system.

During a person’s virtual “transformation” into a zombie, this clip would block the moment of death, then resurrect in the form of an evil creature. The hypothesis of the “resurrection” that will affect these corpses, in fact, states that when the brain suffers from a certain lack of oxygen, the more it is deprived of it, the more damage it suffers.

Will you be able to eat a member of your family? Zombies are doing!

We often see in movies that zombies are unable to recognize people from their past. You too, if you were to become one, would likely end up eating your entire family without thinking twice. The most plausible explanation behind this inhumane behavior is that these creatures are characterized by prosopagnosia (facial blindness) and retrograde amnesia due to hippocampal dysfunction.

Complementing their neuroscientific explanation, the two researchers also analyzed the language that distinguishes the living and the dead, which consists primarily of groans and grunts. The latter may result from severe damage to their arcuate bundles, the area of ​​the brain responsible for the verbal area and Broca’s area, closely related to speech production.

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To continue their studies, Verstynen and Voytek reconstructed a realistic model of the zombie brain, thus providing the first official diagnosis of their “illness”. These creatures will actually suffer from “hyperactivity disorder” (CDHD).

The role of parasitic organisms in the spread of the virus

After finally taking a look at what can infect zombies, how will such an infection spread? According to experts, parasites can be highly valued “through”.

As is known, the fly Apocephalus Borealis It infects honeybees by laying eggs and taking over their bodies. Once “infected” by these insects, they exhibit behavior similar to that of cinematic zombies until they die.

Viral and bacterial agents are good candidates for the spread of “disease,” according to the research authors’ theories. However, there is also another way by which the latter can be transmitted: mushrooms.

According to some recent studies, this vegetable can infect humans by creating networks to collect and transport chemicals. This mechanism could affect the nerves and blood vessels of the future cadaver.

By ingesting or inhaling even a small amount of the fungus, agents released by this contaminated vegetable when bitten or inhaled can reach an individual’s blood channels and then thrive inside. Once the subject dies for good, the fungi will take over the circuits and regions of the brain to control their basic functions and transmit signals to the rest of the body, and take control.

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Currently, Verstynen and Voytek are working to deepen their study with increasingly targeted research. Meanwhile, the two scientists are finishing their latest book on zombie neuroscience. The text will be published next year by Princeton University Press.