Are Zombies Brain Dead?
No one expects our Z buds to score high on the ACT or SAT. In fact, I think it’s safe to assume they probably won’t ever be selected by the Google Corp. I’m not even sure if they could stock shelves at Wal-Mart on a night shift
Sorry Zs, hop in line for your, uh, er, food stamps… or brain stamps. Whatever you call them, just understand, it’s tough world out there.
To put it more bluntly, the zombie’s level of smarts is in the class of Cane Toads. Just a side note people, but the Cane Toad is considered the stupidest creature out there. The male is known to hump dead, crushed toads on the road and regularly tries to mate with salamanders, snakes, lizards, and really … just about anything.
On the question of Zombie intelligence – mere observation tells us that a zombie is not exactly firing every piston, if any. A smart alec student of zombies might pose, “But something has to be working … just look at them. They make noises. They walk. Some even run! They grip with their fingers, bite with their mouths. So, how can they be brain dead?”
This begs the next question, “What is working upstairs?”
Right, take note, there are a few outliers out there.
All in all though, the average run-of-the-mill zombie is stumbling about, moaning, and chasing some frightened dude. Our own eyes tell us that something has to be working upstairs.
Lucky for us we don’t need to tie a Walking-Dead down to a table in order to complete a MRI to discover the areas of the brain that are working.
We can simply deduce the parts of the brain that are functioning by merely observing behaviors.
All we need is some rudimentary knowledge of general brain lobe functions to make these deductions.
The brain is made up of four lobes: Frontal (thinking and speech), Parietal (input taste, temperature, touch), Occipital (visual perception), and Temporal (hearing).
So, if we see Tom-the-moaning-zombie stumbling about, what can we conclude?
First, zombies are dead, so he doesn’t need to breathe. That makes the brain stem a moot point. The cerebellum?
He’s moving, walking about, maybe even running a bit. So YUP, this lobe is operating.
The frontal lobe? Remember this lobe helps us all produce speech, make decisions, and come up with complex ideas.
Is Tom stopping to have a conversation with you? Is he asking you if you know the best way to the meat market? Is Tom philosophizing about the meaning of the post apocalyptic world?
Just a side note peeps, if Tom is actually doing any of this, then please, please don’t kill Tom. Tom is what we call a pot smoker, he’s not an Undead.
Best to ask for a puff to take off the nervous edge, and then go on your way.
Otherwise, if Tom is moaning unintelligibly we can assume the frontal lobe is totally fried. He will never talk again, sorry folks. Tom better learn sign language.
The parietal lobe? Hmmm. So, if you’re Tom, then you’re body is rotting and parts are falling off. Tom doesn’t seem to notice the pieces of his body decaying. I’d say his nerves are pretty much kaput.
This lobe has seen its glory days. It’s done. Toast.
We can presume the occipital lobe is functioning to some degree.
You never see zombies with a walking cane, right?
You ever see the Undead lead by a seeing-eye-dog? No.
So there you go, this lobe must be working. How well?
Well, that is unknown. And until we figure out a way to have the Undead take an eye exam then we’ll continue being in the dark on this point.
It’s safe to assume guys and gals, you are not going to see a zombie in an upcoming chemistry test.
Nor are you going to have to worry about wearing a clip on your nose as you sit behind a flesh eating zombie as you take notes in class.And you don’t need to fret whether you are going to be infected as you walk from your car to classes or work.
Yet, on the small chance you do see a dude coming whose shoulders are slump, is moaning, and dragging his feet – just remember, if he asks you about the meaning of life, then you know what to ask for.
BRYCE BENTLEY SUMMERS is an author, copywriter, and psychologist. He’s presently employed at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Presently, he’s published three novellas and one short story on Amazon that are part of the series, Amen to Rot. Amen to Rot is a YA Dark Fantasy/ Sci-Fi.
Please be on the look out in the next months for his recently completed three novels that include Nyte God, conclusion to Amen to Rot series; Rotville, a New Adult Sci-Fi (Horror); and Fresh Meat, Adult Horror (Paranormal).