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Pennsylvania Academy for Necroambulate Studies
Theories & Thesis
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Subjects of Interest

GENERAL ZOMBIE THEORY

I will attempt to shed some light on two questions relevant to the community of Zombology (the scientific study of zombies). To be perfectly honest, my colleagues and I have argued these same questions earlier this fall.

How is it that a necrocephalivore (undead eater of brains) transmits whatever aura, or shall we say state of undead animation to the victim?

To answer this question I must first address the factors that may have caused the necroambulatory state in the first place.

In the event that a foreign substance was introduced into our atmosphere, by some means of transport (Night of the Comet, 1984), we would have to address its impact on mankind. It must first be quantified if this foreign element, which we will assume is the catalyst for the zombie reaction, effects the bodies of the dead, the living, or if the substance continues to have residual effects on the bodies of the dead once the comet is post presence. In Night of the Comet, the "zombies" were actually altered beings, not the undead. Furthermore they victimized humans not for their brains but for their blood.

Secondly, we have to entertain the theory of the dead walking the earth due to there being no room left in hell (Day of the Dead 1985). The rationale with this concept is the most difficult of all: If the dead rise due to a lack of vacancy in hell, then how are they stopped? One would first have to diagnose what key process keeps them in a state of animation, and destroy that crucial component. The problem that exists with this theory of the walking dead is:

If there is no room left in hell, the spirit will not leave the body regardless of what is inflicted upon the undead. More complicating yet, if reducing it to ashes or dissolving it in hydrofluoric acid destroys the vessel for the spirit (the corpse); where will it go. Will the spirit posses a living being? Will the spirit coexist with another undead vessel? Since matter, living or dead cannot be created nor destroyed, does the spirit stay with the chemically changed molecules of the undead corpse?

The "no vacancy scenario" of the undead does however allow for the ability to make a strong educated guess on the method of transmission of the necroambulatory state. In this situation, one has to understand, if you die you will become a brain - eating zombie.

Lastly, I will discuss the concept of a chemical substance as the cause of necroactivity (Return of the Living Dead 1985). In this case, for an individual to become infected with whatever causes the necroambulatory disorder: the individual must be exposed to the chemical catalyst. One must entertain the thought that the chemical could be introduced into the body by way of a bite wound to the flesh, or being exposed to the chemical substance already residing within the zombie's body.

In conclusion one must consider the zombie as a severely dangerous and infectious being. It is imperative that proper precautions are met when surrounding oneself with such an element. The best protection against infection and transmission is knowledge of the theories on the NECROINFECTIOUS PROCESS.

THE INFECTIOUS TRANSMISSION THEORY

After further speculation on the concept of the necroambulate's ability to transmit it's physical state to another being requires much more review than I previously put forth. Due to the vast dilemmas that a spiritual concept of an undead scenario can entail this thesis will be restricted to the concept of non-spiritual necroambulation.

It is widely held that once a being, living or dead, human or animal, is exposed to the original "zombification" substance the exposed being will become infected by the substance, slowly die if the initial process did not kill the being, and lastly the being will transform into the necroambulate that this thesis pertains to. It is this altered being, the necroambulate, which becomes the new mode of transport for the [disease]. The undead has the ability to transform other beings into necroambulates by a process of infection. The infectious material is introduced to the new hosts (victims) conventionally through the means of a bite.

The importance of this thesis pertains to the theory that in the substance-formed necrocephalivore ambulate scenario; a human's death, as a result of anything other than a zombie attack, would not result in that human transforming into a necroambulate. The dead in this scenario would remain a restful corpse unless the necroambulatory substance was somehow introduced to the corpse. Furthermore, the necroambulatory substance could only be passed to the corpse in a non-animate form ( i.e. the chemical substance itself, or a derivative of such substance). The walking dead will by no means attack or consume a corpse.

In order to address the dangers of a bite wound delivered by a necroambulate, one must first acknowledge what we already know of a zombie inflicted bite wound. The recipient of such wound, regardless of the site of the wound, will invariably die and become a necroambulate himself. The only variation of such action pertains to the locale of the bite wound. The rate of transformation to the necroambulatory state is dependent on, to a large degree, on the locale of the bite wound. More clearly stated; the closer the wound is to the brain or upper 3/4 of the spinal cord (explained later),the quicker the victim will die and transform into a necroambulate.

A bite wound which would have been deemed as normally un-leathal, inevitably brings about death when delivered by a zombie.

The possibilities of medical treatments for necroambulate inflicted bite wounds have thus far been portrayed to be futile. It is not known for sure if the [disease] travels through the body either viscerally and/or neurologically.

Familial Attachment in Relation to the Necroambulate

This paper will discuss the potential problems associated with the living possessing an emotional attachment to the necroambulate due to a previous relationship with the being before it's transformation into the undead.

The issues of concern in this scenario are primarily the living's safety and secondly the importance of addressing the emotional ramifications involved when a member of an individuals support system becomes a necroambulate. Keep in mind that the statements put forth in this paper are not steadfast answers, but a means for an appropriate directive in dealing with those emotionally attached to the undead.

In a way, when a loved one dies and then appears to have come back to life it is initially a much-welcomed occurrence by the mourner. This is mainly due to the optimism and selective reasoning on the mourner's part. By absolutely no means can a necroambulate be trained or controlled (Day of the Dead, 1985.). Contrary to what has often been portrayed, regardless of the strength of the previous living attachment, a zombie will retain, without a doubt, no memory of it's life or persons within it.

Care must be taken when approaching survivors of the deceased to inform them what needs to be done and why. Otherwise serious psychological maladaption may not be avoided. The facts stated in the previous paragraph may prove to be the most difficult to convey to the grief stricken. Loved ones of the corpse will naturally allow emotion to effect their rational thinking. When the corpse becomes a necroambulate, they will see their wishes come true (initially the being may look to be reviving). This proves to be the most vulnerable point of the living's attachment. If the mourners rush to embrace the newly transformed zombie, they will undoubtedly suffer the gravest of consequences (Dawn of the Dead, 1978, Return of the Living Dead, 1985).

It may prove to be especially difficult to intervene and assist (those who are not learned in the areas of necrosemantics ) in understanding what is happening to dead loved ones; let alone what must be done about it. Care must be taken to preserve the mental stability of the mourner. If the mourning are introduced too harshly to the reality of what has happened to their deceased loved ones, their moral values may become jeopardized. Knowledge of necroambulates must be conveyed in a subtle manner; in a way that won't cause the loved ones to become defensive. After all, we want to decrease the threat of environmental harm, not increase the potential of harm by causing mourners to become hostile.

 

Visual Sensory Development in the Necroambulate

     The visual system of the necroambulate holds many similarities to those of normal, non-infected human beings. Obviously, this is due to the fact that the walking undead choose the human body as their host. There are however several key differences in the necroambulate development process that differentiates the two systems.

     Assuming the zombie commandeers a normal and healthy host, the following changes to the visual system occur. First, Z-lymphocytes (first known infective zombie substance) move in to the retina and restore any existing anomalies contained within the retina. Once the retina is fully functionally (usually takes about 30-45 seconds), the fovea spontaneously disintegrates. The fovea is a spot on the retina where the number of cone cells are at the highest concentration. Cone cells are known for precise vision and for the detection of colors. Humans rely heavily on cone cells for vision under normal lighting. Due to the lack of cones in the necroambulate, they have horrible daytime/color vision. Although this may sound advantageous to humans, it most certainly is not. Many necroambulates simply avoid daylight or well-lit areas and are usually nocturnal by preference. Others can acquire a pair of sunglasses with UV protection and preserve their poor vision. Be advised; most necroambulates in public during the day time will wear sunglasses, even indoors under florescent lighting, but this does not mean everyone wearing sunglasses indoors is a zombie. By all means, do not kill anyone wearing sunglasses indoors for reasons listed above. Once the fovea disappears, the optic disk grows, and eventually replaces this region. The optic disk, commonly referred to as the blind spot, is the location where sensory information is conducted to the brain. This enlarge optic disk creates a more efficient delivery system to the CNS. Visual processing in the necroambulate is approximately 4.5 times faster than that of a normal human. The blind spot enlarges, but does not appear to be disadvantageous to the necroambulate. Due to the physiological changes, the necroambulate vision system consists of approximately 98% rod cells on the retina. The rod cells are most functional in low level illumination. This helps explain the accurate "night vision" of many of these zombies. Please note however, if a zombie invades a blind host, regardless of the cause of blindness, the necroambulate can not survive. Although the physiological changes that occur within the visual system can repair any damage to the primary sensory organ, the retina, many complications arise due to the ensuing brain activity. The most notable is when the retinal restoration process has been completed, the once blind host will regain vision and therefore begin stimulating the once dormant occipital lope. Most often there is too much stimulation in this area of the brain, which causes it to swell until the surface area is double it original size. This typically results in the explosion of the necroambulate brain. The process described above is commonly known as encephali-occipital overstimulation in necroambulates (EON).

     The information listed above may seem to hold little everyday value and usefulness, but scientist have learned much in the area of zombie control on the basis of this research. Using a very bright strobe light set at roughly 10-15 second intervals will temporarily blind the necroambulate and cause great headaches. This maneuver also drastically hinders their locomotion. The reason the strobe-effect works is due to the high concentration of rod cells in the visual system, which in turn creates very poor light-adaption capabilities. The strobe-effect only works in environments of very low levels of illumination. The contrast between the dark environment and the bright flood lights make the strobe-effect function most efficiently. Also noted, if you are being chased by a necroambulate, changing your appearance is of no advantage. All homing instincts in zombies are based upon olfaction, a subject which we will discuss in more depth after the final stage of our research is complete.

     Much more research is needed in this area, as well as scientific data in numerous others areas of necroambulate studies. In order to understanding how zombies exist in our modern world, the scientist within our lab, S.A.P.L.O.N. (Sensation and Perceptual Laboratories of Necroambulates) have begun investigating other areas of interest. For the first time, we are collaborating with other zombological laboratories across the country including the world-renowned B.R.A.I.N. organization. We look forward to conducting a large quantity of research in the near future.

Susceptibility of the Mentally Retarded

To Necroambulation

This theory is based on the opinion that the dead's ability to maintain sustained movement is due to some mutation or alteration of the hormonal glands. What causes this reactivation / alteration of the endocrine system will not be discussed here. This brief will postulate the phenomenon of necroambulation and how it may effect the mentally retarded. One must understand that mental retardation is a result of cerebral alteration. Cerebral alteration has been proven to be capable of directly effecting the body's secretion of hormones. These hormones in turn physiologically effect the body.

The process in which the subject's brain undergoes to become a necroambulate is not a physical transformation, but a reactivation of previously existing organic structure and functioning. The only variation of physical characteristics could be a result of the increase or decrease of existing gland secretion / excretion. Therefore, a being who was incapable of movement in a particular part of the body when alive (due to mental retardation or even brain damage) will not have movement in that part as a necroambulate. Simply put, necroambulation will not repair, but reactivate.

This being true, we would expect to see zombies with physical disabilities. If the zombie's disability is severe enough to hamper the catch and consumption of brains, then the zombie's ability of self-preservation will be severely limited and it may soon expire. Therefore, a sort of postmortem natural selection will occur. The necroambulate population will undergo a weeding - out of the less agile undead.

     A Special Investigative Paper from

--name withheld--

     At the Biological Research And Investigational Necroambulate Studies (B.R.A.I.N.S.) center, we strive for information. Information regarding the cause of the insatiable hunger associated with zombies along with information regarding a solution to this problem, so that we may protect ourselves from the undead.

     Research thus far on zombies has proven difficult, as the test subjects are less than cooperative. On several occasions, we have lost unsuspecting research technicians (and their brains) to the overwhelming drive of the undead for portions of the central nervous system (CNS). There are numerous existing theories on the exact location of the brain that is responsible for this insatiable, unsatisfiable hunger.

     The most promising theory is based on a disorder that affects the living. This disorder is known as Kluver-Bucy syndrome, a lesion of the amygdala, a portion deep within the temporal lobe responsible for olfactory (smelling), autonomic (the unconscious), and cortical (the conscious) functions. In some CNS degenerative disorders (such as Alzheimers and Picks disease), lesions of the amygdala are not uncommon.

     These lesions may manifest in humans in several ways

(Kluver-Bucy syndrome) characterized by:

   (1)hyperphagia or otherDietaryManifestation   

                         (having an appepitite that is never satisfied)

   (2) hyperorality (increased oral fixations)

   (3) visual, tactile, and auditory agnosia                                         (inability torecognize sensory inputs)

   (4) placidity (mild-manneredness)

   (5) hypermetamorphosis (an intense desire to explore the immediate environment)

   (6)hypersexuality

     The similarities between the signs and symptoms of those afflicted with Kluver-Bucy syndrome, and the characteristics of the undead are what drive the research towards the amygdaloid body.

In addition, the functions of the amygdala would point towards this location of the CNS.

     "Experimental evidence suggests that the amygdala plays an important role in determining ones affective perception of sensory stimuli, particularly with survival value." Other evidence has shown that the amygdala plays a central role in the affect of fear and fear conditioning in humans. For example, humans with a form of epilepsy that causes abnormal discharges in the amygdala often describe a feeling of intense fear or dread just before an epileptic attack.

     The Biological Research And Investigational Necroambulate Studies center is striving to answer the question of whether the amygdala is the source of the rise of the undead in their quest for brains. Could there be an association between some increased activity in that part of the brain, in which necroambulates are driven to eat brains (hyperphagia) and can locate brains even miles away via pheremones that affect a hyperacute olfactory system? Someday, we may have an answer.

     Note: It is the recommendation of this institution that one does not approach the undead to test the theory of hypersexuality in zombies. Much too often, the encounter ends very badly for the living.

Keep exploring this site for more zombie knowlege!