Amidst watching “Titanic” specials commemorating the 100th anniversary of the tragedy, I happened upon William Shatner’s Weird or What (link will take you to info on History Channel). Before you start thinking I watch too much TV (which I probably do), it actually ended up research for me, since I’ve been trying to figure out how to create my zombies for my latest WIP.
They were talking to a doctor of some variety (as I say, I really was just flicking past so I missed most of the details), and he said there are some diseases which will cause the kind of shuffling / awkward walking patterns typical of most zombies. Really, some of those who survive a stroke may walk in a similar way, especially if they were particularly affected on one side or the other.
The rest of what the doctor talked about was the human brain, and how brain injury could essentially create the essence of zombies. The amygdala (base part of our brain), is responsible for general urges, the “primitive” side of our brain (yes, I’m paraphrasing – I am not a scientist, for more details, find one). This part of our brain would want to, say, attack someone who cut us off in line and possibly beat them to a bloody pulp. The reason why shopping isn’t quite so dangerous is because usually, our frontal lobe controls these kind of impulses, helping us to fit into society, and act “civilized.” The frontal lobe is also believed to be at least partially responsible for our personalities, since those who have severely damaged frontal lobes often become very different people – I remember the case study from psychology class about the guy with the railroad spike in his frontal lobe who did live, but was never the same friendly person he’d been prior to his accident.
Anyway, back to zombies. What I’m thinking is that perhaps, zombies – or rather, a zombie-like-creature, could be created using some kind of intentional brain injuries. With a severely damaged frontal lobe, and being driven primarily by the primitive amygdala, my zombies could be pretty much killing machines without conscience, and isn’t that precisely what you’d want in a genetically “perfect” soldier?
What do you think? Sound convincing enough? I know, they’re technically not dead (or undead) … I’m still working on that part. Although with such debilitating injuries, the person they were is, essentially, gone. Hmm … still thinking about it.
Let me know what you think. Thanks for reading, and have a great week.