Category Archives: Halloween Week

October 27

Fear IT

There’s nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight – Lon Chaney [En español] With Halloween just around the corner and the latest clown craze hitting American and United Kingdom cities, it seems like a great time to talk about clowns. More specifically, about fear of clowns, which I recently found out there’s a term for: […]

October 31

Interview with a Zombie: Dr. Bradley Voytek and the Neuroscience of Everyone’s Favorite Monster

‘Tis the season to be spooky – here’s a bonus NeuWrite post in the spirit of the holiday! At last spring’s UCSD Neuroscience Program Retreat, we had the pleasure of hearing new faculty member, Dr. Bradley Voytek, give a talk about Consciousness Deficit Hypoactivity Disorder (CDHD). If the medical term sounds unfamiliar, maybe you know […]

October 31

Young Blood

The modus operandi of a vampire is pretty straightforward: drink blood, live forever. Vampires consume more blood and live longer than everyone else, so surely, these two things are related. But how exactly does blood allow vampires to live forever? In an effort to find the root cause of immortality in vampirism (okay, kidding, they’re […]

October 30

Analyze your zombie walk

Imagine a zombie costume.   You probably see – pale, bloody makeup, ripped clothes, dead-eyed stare. All of that preparation, however, would not be convincing if the zombie were to just move around normally. In fact “Walking Dead” special effects artist/director Greg Nicotero teaches a school on how to lumber around like a zombie for […]

Via press.princeton.edu October 27

NeuWrite Reads: Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep? by Timothy Verstynen and Bradley Voytek

If you’ve come to our website via Google, there’s a good chance it’s because you wanted to know about zombies.  The search term that brings the most people to our site by far is “are zombies real?”.  Ashley’s post is an awesome primer on real-life zombies, but for those of you who want to go […]

November 01

A Furry Little Problem

You may know them best as hunky Derek Hale, shy and brilliant Remus Lupin or Jacob Black, one third of pop culture’s most (in)famous love triangle.  They may be called shifters, or weres, or lycans.  I’m talking about America’s second favorite mythical hunk: the werewolf.     Stories of men turning into wolves go back as […]

October 31

Tricked By Your Treat

WARNING! This infographic may make you think twice before devouring your sugary stash of Halloween candy.  

October 30

True Blood: Sucking the Magic Out of Vampires

Blessed with charismatic looks, viciously sharp fangs, and an immortal existence, vampires have simultaneously delighted and horrified for centuries—now, with the recent folkloric addition of skin that sparkles like diamonds, mere mortals don’t stand a chance!  And yet, while the modern-day vampire embodies all that is dangerous but sinfully irresistible, the science behind vampire mythology […]

October 29

The science non-fiction of a bodiless brain

The brain. Nestled cozily inside its skull and properly integrated with its body’s peripheral nervous and circulatory systems, the organ is revered as a sacred abode for our thoughts, emotions, and identity. But extracted from this natural habitat, its slimy cortex and gyrating gyri can make one squeamish. Don’t worry, we neuroscientists aren’t offended. It’s […]

October 28

Zombies are real – I wish I was kidding.

Zombies terrify me. Maybe it’s their helter-skelter gait and bloody outstretched arms, or perhaps the fact that they eat brains, and I happen to like brains. That must be it. You know what’s also horrifying? Our contrived Hollywood concept of zombies is derived from the Haiti zombi, a real phenomenon that occurred in the context […]