TECH: 4 Ways Your Brain Works Better than Zombies in Hollywood
BRAIN TEASERS COURTESY TEXAS INSTRUMENTS
How much do you really know about zombies? Fancy yourself an authority after watching World War Z or marathon back-to-back episodes of The Walking Dead? Hold onto that thought as you read today’s piece in WIRED‘s pop culture blog, Underwire. Pardon the pun, but it’s dead-on.
Then, check out a cool video by Steven C. Schlozman, M.D., a Harvard Medical School professor, and Big Bang Theory star, Mayim Bialik, who also happens to be a neuroscientist (how awesome is that!). Hollywood aside, she helped Texas Instruments develop a program teaching middle and high school students science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
What’s even cooler, Underwire reports the “program uses models of zombie outbreaks loaded onto TI graphing calculators, computers or iPads to demonstrate everything from brain damage (natch) to the patterns in which disease spreads.”
Schlozman, considered a zombie expert, helps students explore real-life scenarios of math and science, including what factors would impact an outbreak and spread of a “zombie pandemic,” and what a “zombie brain” teaches about a real, healthy human brain’s functions.
OK, drumroll, please. As teased in this blog’s headline, read below to find out four ways your brain works better than zombies in Hollywood.
Excerpt from WIRED blog, Underwire:
- 1. You want kids to learn about the group of nuclei at the base of the forebrain known as the basal ganglia. Show them Night of the Living Dead and explain that the loss of coordination the undead display in (George) Romero’s masterpiece can be caused by damage to that region.
- 2. To teach students about the regions of the brain that handle problem solving and impulse control, tell them zombies have highly compromised frontal lobes.
- 3. Want to explain the cerebellum? Tell students — or, using the TI software, show them — that we know zombies must have damage to that area because they can’t walk well.
- 4. If you’re wondering, it’s over-stimulation of the hypothalamus that makes the undead so hungry for flesh.