Aspects of Zombies and Stress

A zombie is usually characterized by very distinct symptoms and behaviors which include particular walking patterns, such as a stagger, skin discoloration, appetite for humans or possibly animals, inability to speak or perform basic functions, and mostly poor frontal lobe processing. Because zombies are essentially reanimated corpses, a significant portion of their organs are inactive, or at least not to their fullest capacity. Most of these behaviors and symptoms can be attributed to differences between human and zombie brains. For instance, the zombie stagger is a result of the cerebellum, and basal ganglia can be damaged which causes worse balance (Rayne, 2021). Damage to the ventromedial hypothalamus can cause a person to eat anything uncontrollably. The amygdala within zombies may no longer be dampened by the anterior cingulate cortex, and as such, can induce hyper aggression. If a patient is in much later stages of being a zombie, it is unlikely that treatment will have any effect. In the case that a patient is cured in the early stages, treatments that rehabilitate skin tissue, brain functions, and other organs may help.

Some of the primary physical reactions to stress include a pounding heart, muscle tightening, quickening breath, and rising blood pressure. The autonomic nervous system has the most involvement during stress, with the sympathetic nervous system responding to high stress and often being utilized to respond to flight-or-fight situations. This is done when the amygdala sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus which signals the adrenal glands to begin secreting adrenaline (Harvard Health Publishing, 2020). The combination of physical and mental distress may cause behavioral changes such as anxiety, shaking, and other discomforts. Both the biological, involuntary, and behavioral responses to stress are interconnected.


Harvard Health Publishing. (2020). Understanding the stress response. Harvard. Web.

Rayne, E. (2021). Zombie cells turn undead in your brain and keep expressing genes after death. SYFY Wire. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. "Aspects of Zombies and Stress." January 8, 2023.