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Zombies vs. Humans
A zombie is a mythical dead human being who resurrected as a walking corpse. The Zombie myth is known to have originated from the Caribbean. These dead creatures are usually brought back to life by magic or science and often eat the brains, hearts or flesh of living human beings. Zombies have no free will and are under the control of the sorcerer or magician who brings them back to life. The zombie myth states that a zombie is a trapped human soul in a dead human being and if the sorcerer becomes more powerful if he or she manages to catch the trapped human soul. Zombies and humans have various similarities and features such as the ability to walk and think. They also have similar features of the body such as eyes, noses and mouths. Their walk is however uncoordinated. On the ability to think zombies do not attack fellow zombies (Nasiruddin, Halabi, Dao, Chen & Brown, 2013). Zombies have become very popular in fantasy horror movies. This paper will focus on the behavioral and neurological differences of zombies and humans.
There are various behavioral differences between zombies and humans. Some of them are due to the physical state of their body while others are due to the neurological state of their brains. Unlike human beings who have a heartbeat, zombies do not have a heartbeat and do not show other vital signs. Unlike humans, zombies typically have rotting or decaying bodies with discolored eyes and skins. Humans communicate by speaking while zombies are non-communicative and all they do is howl and groan. Humans are emotional creatures; however, zombies are very unemotional, clumsy, and violent and tend to have no mercy for their victims (Behuniak, 2011). Unlike humans who are herbivores, zombies are strictly carnivores who ignore animals such as cats and dogs but are hungry for the human flesh or brain. Unlike humans who are typically affected by even minor injuries, zombies are never affected by injuries even the fatal ones as long as long as the injury does not hurt the brain too much. Zombies are very contagious since if they happen to bite a human, the bitten human become a zombie. The distinctive characteristics of being contagious and not attacking fellow zombies lead to huge swarms of zombies.
I tend to think that the brain of the zombie is like both the heart and brain of it since it is the only organ that is vital. This is due to the fact that, only the destruction of the brain can kill them. A zombie may be severed into two halves the upper and the lower and still the upper half can still function despite the significant bleeding. I also tend to think that only a small part of the zombies’ brain work due to their uncoordinated movements and their lack of feelings. Researchers as those in the Zombie Research Society have applied the real world neuroscience to demystify and explain the fictional brain of a zombie (Brown, 2012). The approach to their study is just like the real world’s approach of a neurologist to patient where they attention to the signs and symptoms so as to figure what areas of the brain may be damaged leading to the neurological problems.
Zombie researchers have collected the signs and symptoms portrayed by zombies into a syndrome known as CDHD (Consciousness-Deficit Hypo activity Disorder). On the zombie characteristic of diminished pain perception, it can be explained as damage somatosensory cortex in the parietal lobe of their brains. This is due to the fact that this part of the brain that is concerned with physical sensations. Regions such as cingulated cortex and insula fix a negative connotation to pain. Since zombies seem not to have an emotional stimulus to their own pain, zombie researchers assert that it is the cingulated cortex that is mostly affected in the zombie pathology (Nasiruddin, Halabi, Dao, Chen & Brown, 2013). This simply means that zombies feel pain but they just dint care about it. Unlike zombies, the humans have their parietal lobe cortex as well as insula and cingulated cortex intact. This means that humans both feel pain as well as care about the pain.
The insatiable hunger of zombies may be neurologically explained as a problem affecting their brain’s hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is part that controls the general drives such as sleep, thirst, hunger and temperature control. The ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus is responsible for controlling satiety, that is, the feeling of enough is enough. The damage of the right temporal lobe is also associated with the tendency to overeat. This explains the reason as to why zombies are always hungry despite how much they may have eaten (Behuniak, 2011). Zombies seem to always have more room for more humans no matter the number of humans they have eaten. This is very different from humans since, their hunger is effectively controlled by the hypothalamus. Even if humans may have a feeling of overeating at times, the ventromedial nucleus controls their satiety.
The language deficits in zombies can be explained by a neurologist as the suffering from a receptive and expressive aphasia. This simply means that zombies are unable to understand or produce language and hence they cannot communicate with each other. In neurology, such a symptom indicates damage on the hemisphere that is dominant in over in 90% of human beings. This includes the Wernicke’s region that is responsible for receptive aphasia and Broca’s area that is responsible for expressive aphasia (Brown, 2012). This is very different to humans who can understand and produce language. This means that humans can effectively communicate with each other through speaking unlike zombies who just produce meaningless sounds of groaning and howling.