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Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep?: A Neuroscientific View of the Zombie Brain
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Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep?: A Neuroscientific View of the Zombie Brain

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  292 ratings  ·  44 reviews
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 zomb ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 22nd 2014 by Princeton University Press (first published January 1st 2014)
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May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
4/4 stars. I was assigned this book for my Honors Biology course, and I have to say it was hilarious. The authors are fantastic, they give you all of the neurological facts and then put it in a zombie apocalypse scenario we all can understand. This helped the book flow well and read easier. I have to say it was a bit dense in a few chapters but over all an informative and interesting read. If you are into zombies you should definitely pick this one up! No full review since this book was basicall ...more
Brian Clegg
Oct 20, 2014 rated it liked it
When I first opened this book I was a little unsure. My idea of a great horror film is the 1945 classic Dead of Night, which is not just genuinely spooky and unsettling but is surely the only horror film ever to inspire a major cosmological theory (the steady state theory). There is no gore in the movie, and as far as I'm concerned that makes it a much better film than any zombie tripe. I don't want to see blood and guts, thank you. The only zombie movie I've ever seen was Sean of the Dead, and ...more
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is how you get a layman interested in one of the most intriguing yet difficult fields of science: by explaining it like you would to a 5 years old.

Thanks for holding my hand through the zombie field.
Kayson Fakhar
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
As a neuroscientist it was a bit boring but I do recommend it to both brain and zombie enthusiasts. The science was pretty accurate and enough simplified for general audience.
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, science
Something that sounds like it could be jump on the bandwagon filler turns out to be an informative and accessible introduction to neuroscience. Authors Timothy Verstynen and Bradley Voytek are both neuroscientists and zombie fanboys and they decided to combine their personal and professional interests in order to educate. Plus it’s a fun look at zombies to try and explain them with science.

Before they start to explain zombie brains, they go over the basics of what happens in the human brain. I h
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly good introduction/refresher to current neuroscience. Worked for even a non-zombie-geek like me. Describes a tongue-in-cheek zombie phenotype as a thought experiment for thinking about the neuroscience of movement, vision, sleep, emotion, etc. Would recommend highly.
Lea Dokter
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Cleverly written, humorous and scientific; this book made me laugh and gave me a decent introduction into neuroscience. The technical terms were very well-explained (though science is still not my forté) and the angle was entertaining. A brilliant mix of seriousness and comedy, science and fiction.
Jul 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: reference-shelf
Fun way to learn about neuroscience. Surprisingly believable, if one suspends other knowledge of the nervous system.
Aug 23, 2014 marked it as did-not-finish
I picked this up mostly for the title, but quickly realized that I don't have enough interest in neuroscience to make it worth the read. ...more
Raquel Evans
This was a lot of fun! I initially rated it four stars because I thoroughly enjoyed most of it, but felt some of the technical bits were hard to follow, and kept me from really absorbing the information. However, I decided to bump the rating up to the 4.5 to 5 stars range, because not only did I really enjoy it, but multiple times was reminded of something in the book and was telling my husband interesting facts about brains, which means I must have absorbed a fair amount of it.

My one real an
Danny Banner
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is a great introduction to neurology, explaining the anatomy and functions of the brain in the context of a post-apocalyptic zombie world. Readers should have a strong interest in neurology and at least a little background knowledge in zombie pop-culture in order to understand the references.

4/5 stars because at some points it starts to read like a textbook. It can be very dense with terminology, but the zombie anecdotes often help balance it out with a bit of humor.
Dec 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was assigned this book for my Neuroscience 32o class and it is definitely not your run of the mill textbook. My main issue is that it wasn't always easy to keep track of what they were saying and I wish there were more images of the anatomy they were referencing as well as diagrams of some mechanisms, but overall this book presented the source material in a really interesting way and kept me captivated. ...more
Emily Mehlman
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a neuroscientist and zombie enthusiast I found this book hilarious, fascinating, and engaging. It accurately describes multiple neurological systems and connects these systems with specific deficits that define Zombism. Historical facts, anecdotes, and case studies make this a fun and accessible read for all levels. Highly recommend!
Nov 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An excellent, extremely readable introduction into basic neuroscience within the context of diagnosing a zombie. Highly recommend for anyone that needs a refresher on some neuroanatomy or is just curious about how the brain works.

(Also - shameless plug because it was written by my current PhD advisor!)
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very tech-y. If you are wanting the real low down on what's truly up with the possibilities of the undead, then check this out. ...more
Jan 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I expected some Neuroscience and a lot of Zombies but got the exact opposite. Still it was well written, informative and partially entertaining.
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very fun way to introduce neuroscience vocabulary and ideas for further research.
Scott Cinsavich
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all
Well not exactly a mash-up in the vein of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" but close enough. This book is an excellent introduction to higher brain functions with amusing references to how zombies behave when the functions are damaged. In fact, the details make "zombie disorder" or as the authors define it, Consciousness Deficit Hypoactivity Disorder (CDHD),worthy of inclusion in the DSM-V (The Diagnostic and Statistics Manual, used to define psychiatric disorders). I can imagine a viral origin ...more
Andy Taylor
If you're curious about neuroscience and love zombies, than this book for you. Geeks and neuroscientists, authors Timothty Verstyen and Bradley Voytek combined their love of both in this creative examination of what might be going on inside your average zombie's brain to make them act the way they do. While heavy on the science, the book does a good job of keeping the tone light and making sure you don't get lost along the way. I could have easily pictured myself signing up for a course on Zombi ...more
Nov 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This was a phenomenally fun look at neuroscience. While it would probably help to have some sort of basic anatomy knowledge, the book is actually very accessible, exploring the functions (and dysfunctions) of the brain with quite a novel base.
Because, of course, zombies aren't real, there's some conflicting speculation about how something would or wouldn't work but the explanations about the different part of the brain are very well done.
It's worth a read if you find yourself at the cross roads
May 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book! A fan of all things undead, this book was suggested to me by a coworker. It was an interesting and entertaining take on brain science. Although I probably won't be using the scientific language in my daily conversations, i feel like I have a better understanding of how the brain works. I would take the class this book is the required reading for. Each chapter is well- organized, generally easily understood, and followed by a reference list. The book has an impressive index and glos ...more
Steven Errington
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very good concept - introduces the reader to a wide range of neuroscientific principles through a very interesting application! The book covers everything from cellular level to system level - something I appreciate and feels gives the reader an understanding of the complexity of the brain. I feel as though this is a great example of sci comms, and is accessible (& recommended!) for those new to the field.
Srinivas Kowtal
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
If you want to get a good understanding of how the brain works this is the book to read. Not only you get to learn stuff you will also have fun reading the book. Writing style is simple and witty. The line about hitting some one and telling oxytocin made you do it made me laugh out loud for at least 30 seconds. All in all an enjoyable book to read.
Sue Gray
Dec 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
The author looks at zombie behavior and discusses the neurological conditions that could create that behavior. He does this by comparing what we know about how the normal human brain works and discusses what could happen to create "zombie" behaviors. ...more
May 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emma  de Brabander
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite
My first finished book of the new year is one that I started last year, what a terrible way to start. But I loved this, it was clear and funny and interesting. Had I read this before my neurology exam, I'd have had even an easier time answering the questions ...more
Kelli Trei
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fun and interesting overview of the brain and damage in regards to speech, memory, movement, and stress response with an assessment of zombie behavior as depicted in lore.
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Neuroscience and George Romero collide in this romp through living and undead brains. Enjoyable and informative!
Franklin Arbour
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
More neuroscience than zombies, but that's okay. A very funny, easy to read introduction to the human brain for laypersons. ...more
Edward ott
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A delightful and humorous look at what maybe wrong with a zombies brain by two neuro scientist. A lot of real science
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