Zombies eat brains. They are also, like all of us, driven by brain functions. What is happening in their brains to make them act as they do? In this intriguing dialogue, Tim Verstynen & Bradley Voytek apply the various human medical possibilities that make zombies...zombies.
DISCLAIMER: Although we sometimes compare certain symptoms in zombies to real neurological patient populations, we are in no way implying that patients with these other disorders are in some way “part zombie”. Neurological disorders have provided critical insights into how the brain gives rise to behavior and we bring them up for the sake of illustration only. Their reference in this context is in no way meant to diminish the devastating impact that neurological diseases can have on patients and their caregivers.
In order to understand how studies on patients, brain regions, and behavior all link together, check out BrainScanr (http://www.brainscanr.com/), a meta-analytic program designed to show relationships between brain systems and behavior.
For more information on the syndromes described in the video, including how to help, please check out the following support societies:
Parkinson’s Disease Foundation: http://www.pdf.org/
The National Ataxia Foundation: http://ataxia.org/
The National Aphasia Foundation: http://www.aphasia.org/
To learn more about the basal ganglia, cerebellum, and language networks, please check out the following open-access reviews:
Schwartz MF, Dell GS. Case series investigations in cognitive neuropsychology. Cogn Neuropsychol. 2010 Sep;27(6):477-94. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3162112/
Seger CA, Spiering BJ. A critical review of habit learning and the Basal Ganglia. Front Syst Neurosci. 2011;5:66. http://www.frontiersin.org/Systems_Neuroscience/10.3389/fnsys.2011.00066/abstract
Peelle JE, Davis MH. Neural Oscillations Carry Speech Rhythm through to Comprehension. Front Psychol. 2012;3:320. http://www.frontiersin.org/Language_Sciences/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00320/abstract
Klockgether T, Paulson H. Milestones in ataxia. Mov Disord. 2011 May;26(6):1134-41. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3105349/
Tim Verstynen on Twitter: @tdverstynen
Bradley Voytek on Twitter: @bradleyvoytek