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Caveat lector: This blog is where I try out new ideas. I will often be wrong, but that's the point.

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8.2.11

Nerd Nite zombie brain talk online!

Last month I gave a talk at Nerd Nite San Francisco. I'm not exaggerating when I say it was the most fun I've ever had giving a talk before. I spoke for about 30 minutes about the zombie brain. I think I'm really funny. It may help that I was 2-3 beers into the night when I gave the talk.

If you know absolutely nothing about me and the zombie neuroscience stuff, skip below the video to read about it. In brief: I love it because I get to flex my explaining and hypothesis-generating muscles to try and reverse engineer what a zombie brain must look like.

Nerd Nite SF: "Scanning the Zombie Brain" by Dr. Bradley Voytek, 1/19/11 from nerdniteSF on Vimeo.


Okay, so why zombies? As I explained in an earlier post:

Partly because it’s a great way to talk about some really complicated neuroscience stuff in a way that engages the public’s interest. If you start talking about the subtleties of how neuroimaging and lesion research shed light on how different brain regions interact to give rise to complex... zzzzZZZZZZzzz. Right?

Though note I'm trying to figure out a writing style that is more the "real" me that explains this stuff and is still interesting.

Continuing on:

I mean, I care a lot about this stuff, but if you talk about how brain regions could interact to give rise to a ZOMBIE, suddenly normal people are interested, too.

We decided right from the start that all the neuro stuff we would talk about would be 100% true (except for the fact that there could be a zombie, of course).

We wanted to trick people into learning about neuroscience.

And at the end of the day, I get such a kick mixing Serious Science with something totally ridiculous like zombies. I get to make fun of my field and be a nerd about it.

And hell, because of this I've been on National Geographic, I'm on the Zombie Research Society advisory board, I get to speak at zomBcon in Seattle every year with some really cool people, and I got to meet and interview George Romero!

Bradley Voytek George Romero Zombie Neuroscience Neuroscientist


It's not often that people get to have fun with their jobs. It's too often that scientists take themselves too seriously. I want to do more of the former, less of the latter.