Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Neuropsychology of Zombies

I love shoes, and designer clothes and pretty colors just as much as the next girl. But dammit, I dig Zombies. I love the thrill that only comes with poppin' a new ZOMBIE flick into the DVD player, or eagerly anticipating the upcoming PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES movie being shopped around hollywood. I own all of the RESIDENT EVIL movies. I love GEORGE ROMERO...and even though DARIO ARGENTO's flesh eaters are demons...I can watch those movies over and over and over. So, without further or do, I introduce the latest workings from Dr. Steven Schlozman, the assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard.

He loves Zombies and he knows his stuff. He spoke @ the Coolidge Corner theatre this passed monday, and brought up the MIRROR NEURON theory. I've always associated MN with various kinds of science fiction elements. Essentially, humans are wired to bounce behavioral patterns off each other. So, mass hysteria begets mass hysteria. Ten people around you acting crazy will make you act crazy etc.

It's how riots get started. It's how revolutions evolve. But it's also how a group of survivors will try, against better judgement, to fight off brain eaters to the death. Even Schlozman says so.

What gets me is, if Zombies are so primal and incapable of thinking beyond the devouring of brains and the attaining of said brains knowledge (thank ya kindly Robert Rodriguez, for PLANET TERROR!), then how to explain DAY OF THE DEAD and other zombie flicks in which some Zombies start to remember how to behave? LAND OF THE DEAD was an exercise in futility, yes...but it also had some Zombies getting mad and getting even; incensed over the fact that they had no place to call their own without being hunted. So they followed one rather intelligent Zombie, to a new home.

That's how far ROMERO was getting with his ZOMBIE psychosis. But then he did DIARY OF THE DEAD, and all the brainlessness intelligence was kaput.

Anways...read the brief article, and try to catch up on Schlozman's work because the fact that a Harvard educated professor is talking about Zombies is cooler than unicorns in central park. Well. Almost.

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