Worried about the zombie apocalypse this Halloween? Then meet Bradley Voytek, who is both a neuroscientist at UCSF and a member of the Zombie Research Society. Zombie brains were the topic of his discussion at the California Academy of Sciences on Thursday.
Here are his tips on how neuroscience can help you survive a zombie attack.
1. Run away. “The reason that they’re uncoordinated and slow is presumably because of damage to an area of the brain in the back called the cerebellum which coordinates motor movements. So you’re faster than them,” says Voytek.
2. Create a distraction. "They’re very distractible due to damage to the bilateral posterior parietal cortex. So if you could, distract them in an anyway possible. Maybe set off something loud in the distance."
3. Hide. “They have very poor memories. So after a few minutes, they’ll probably forget that you’re there, unless they could smell you.”
Of course, as a scientist, Voytek claims that zombies aren’t real, but he says they’re a great tool for getting the public interested in the human brain. “It’s really just a way of making sometimes boring neuroscientific facts really interesting for the public.”
Voytek’s talk helped kick off the Bay Area Science Festival, an unprecedented undertaking with more than 100 events around the Bay Area.
“My goal was to take science to the people,” says festival director Kishore Hari. “I wanted to showcase that science is part of our culture. We’re one of the worldwide leaders in scientific discoveries.”