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Scientists Define New term For Zombie Virus: ‘CDHD’

  • Neuroscientists from Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania, and the University of California, San Diego, analyzed the traits of necro mortosis sufferers. • They worked out which sections of the brain are damaged to trigger zombie behaviours, such as a lack of coordination and thirst for blood • Scientists now have a new term for the condition, dubbed ‘CDHD’ or ‘Conscious Deficit Hypoactivity Disorder’ • Damage to fusifrom gyrus explains zombies’ inability to recognise faces • Inability to suppress inappropriate responses, such as the desire to eat people is due to damage in the orbitofrontal cortex, they said Zombie scientist Timothy Verstynen, an assistant professor in the department of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University in in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Bradley Voytek, assistant professor of cognitive science and neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego, summarised characteristic zombie behaviour seen since the global pandemic first began. This can be explained by looking at the structure of the brain They have dubbed the condition ‘Conscious Deficit Hypoactivity Disorder’, or CDHD, which they describe as an acquired syndrome in which those who are infected by necro mortosis lack control over their actions. The undead display symptoms such as lethargic movement, loss of pleasure, language dysfunction, amnesia and the inability to suppress hunger and aggression. ‘Zombies often have difficulty recognising familiar people and suffer chronic insomnia that results in a delirious state,’ they write. Undead individuals also exhibit antisocial behaviour, such as biting and eating people, but they swarm with other infected individuals, according to the scientist. At the moment of death, our circulatory systems stop, starving the brain of oxygen and glucose. The longer the brain is starved of oxygen, the more extensive the damage to zombies, the neuroscientists say. Specifically, damage to the fusiform gyrus impairs the undead’s ability to recognise faces, while damage to the superior temporal gyrus hampers their ability to process emotional facial expressions, resulting in apathy to the feelings of others. Professors Verstynen and Voytek say lesions in the temporal parietal junction – an area of the brain where the temporal and parietal lobes meet – result in severe difficulties in understanding language and in speaking; making communication difficult and causing slurring. Meanwhile, damage to the medial temporal lobe – especially the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory and navigation – means that zombies couldn’t form new memories and would find it hard to find their way around unfamiliar surroundings, giving humans a change of surviving an encounter. Necrotics are known for their poor eyesight and visual impairment comes from damage to the parietal lobe. It perhaps explains why CDHD zombies can only look straight ahead and see one object at a time. Problems with spatial attention as a result of this injury, would also make general motor skills difficult. The inability to suppress inappropriate responses, such as the desire to eat people is due to damage in the orbitofrontal cortex, while damage to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex makes decision making difficult. Lesions to the interior frontal cortex, especially Broca’s area,which is linked to speech production, result in communication difficulties. Damage to the cingulate cortex would mean that individuals may feel conflicted about emotional attachment to people and eating them, but they are still not be able to suppress the desire to eat. The cerebellum, a region of the brain that plays an important role in motor control, would likely degenerate in CDHD zombies, explaining their severe coordination difficulties. ‘Individuals exhibit a wide stance and lumbering gait as well as difficulties reaching and grasping,’ professors Verstynen and Voytek write. Damage to this area of the brain would also lead to slurred speech. A reanimates’ insomnia could be explained by lesions in the hypothalamus, which links the nervous system to the endocrine system. In the mid-brain, lesions to the amygdalae – two almond-shaped groups of nuclei located deep within the temporal lobes of the brain – may explain enhanced fight or flight behaviours in the mortosis afflicted, expressed as impulsive aggression. However, primary sensory areas of the brain that allow humans to process sights, sound, smell, touch and taste signals remain intact, meaning that zombies could use all sensory information, but wouldn’t respond emotionally to it. Some areas of the brain allowing basic movement, such as the thalamus – which is used to process neural signals – and the brainstem, function as usual upon infection, the neuroscientists explain. ‘In conclusion, the series of brain changes seen in CDHD, reflect a loss in so-called “higher order” cognition areas and the neocortex the CDHD subtype also reflects a degeneration of the cerebellum,’ they say.

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