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Publisher's Summary

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?

In Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep?, neuroscientists and zombie enthusiasts Timothy Verstynen and Bradley Voytek apply their 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. Combining tongue-in-cheek analysis with modern neuroscientific principles, Verstynen and Voytek show how zombism can be understood in terms of current knowledge regarding how the brain works. In each chapter, the authors draw on zombie popular culture and identify a characteristic zombie behavior that can be explained using neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and brain-behavior relationships. Through this exploration they shed light on fundamental neuroscientific questions such as: How does the brain function during sleeping and waking? What neural systems control movement? What is the nature of sensory perception?

Walking an ingenious line between seriousness and satire, Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep? leverages the popularity of zombie culture in order to give listeners a solid foundation in neuroscience.

©2014 Princeton University Press (P)2014 Audible Inc.

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  • Robert
  • Mississauga, ON, Canada
  • 12-25-14

Fun and informative; brilliant reading

Just as fascinating and clever at the title suggests. Unlike so many "The Science of ..." books that stray far and wide from their putative subject matter, this one really does stay entirely focused on what must be going on, in terms of neuroscience, in the undead as portrayed in classic zombie movies and TV shows. Of course, the whole subject suggests a tongue in cheek treatment, and that's a breath of fresh air after several pedantic "The Science of ..." or "... and Philosophy" titles that have come out lately. I loved it. Scott Aiello does a masterful reading -- this is a rollicking, fun book, and he's pitch-perfect delivering every bit of humor, sarcasm, and irony that the authors have crafted. I'd say run, don't walk, to get a copy -- but even if all you can do shamble, this is well worth listening to.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Cipolla
  • 07-09-15

Better than the title suggests

A clever and fun way to learn more about the different brain functions in healthy humans. Only downside is the preface, which I find too self absorbed, but it can be skipped with no loss to the understanding if the main content.