Jacquelyn Omelian, assistant professor of practice, will give the talk “Zombies and the Science of Braaaaains,” at 7 p.m. March 11 in Love Library South, Peterson Room. The talk is free and open to the public.
The lecture will apply neuroscience and psychology concepts to explain the what, why and how to these perennially popular undead creatures. Maybe all that moaning, groaning and murder is just a bad case of “hanger” from a massive nutrient deficiency. Or maybe they’d love to chat but have damage to their temporal lobe or cranial nerves making them a mumbling mess. Omelian will examine the brain areas associated with common zombie symptoms and how they might differ from the healthy human brain.
Omelian will also consider some of the ways in which a zombie apocalypse could actually happen by looking at real world examples of diseases and disorders that hijack the nervous system for their own nefarious ends. For example, rabies is a virus that causes aggression and is spread primarily through the bite of an infected individual… sound familiar? By the end of the talk you should develop a greater understanding of your own brain and be well prepared to repel a zombie apocalypse, should one occur.
Omelian is a professor in the psychology department where she teaches a wide variety of neuroscience classes. She also shares her love of brains with the public through her educational outreach group NeuroWOW.