A Neuroscientific View of the Zombie Brain

Neuroscientist and zombie enthusiast Bradley Voytek applies his neuro-know-how to dissect the puzzle of what has happened to the zombie brain to make the undead act differently than their human prey.

Monday, October 22, 2018
1:00 – 2:30 PM
Geisel Library, Seuss Room 

Even if you’ve never seen a zombie movie or television show, you could identify an undead ghoul if you saw one. With their endless wandering, lumbering gait, insatiable hunger, antisocial behavior, and apparently memory-less existence, zombies are the walking nightmares of our deepest fears. What do these characteristic behaviors reveal about the inner workings of the zombie mind? Could we diagnose zombism as a neurological condition by studying their behavior?

Bradley Voytek is an associate professor in the Department of Cognitive Science, the Neurosciences Graduate Program, and the Halicioglu Data Science Institute at UC San Diego. He is both an Alfred P. Sloan Neuroscience Research Fellow and National Academies Kavli Fellow, as well as a founding faculty member of the UCSD Data Science program and Halicioglu Data Science Institute. He was formerly a Data Scientist at Uber. He received his PhD from UC Berkeley in neuroscience and was a post-doctoral fellow at UCSF. His research centers around the computational role that neural oscillations play in coordinating information transfer in the brain. His research program combines large-scale data mining and machine learning techniques with hypothesis-driven experimental research. He is also known for his zombie brain “research” with his friend and fellow neuroscientist Timothy Verstynen, with whom he has published the book Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep?, by Princeton University Press. He blogs at Oscillatory Thoughts and is active on twitter as @bradleyvoytek.

For event questions or concerns please contact Serafin Raya at s1raya@ucsd.edu .

 

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