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Assignment Paper

You’ve watched the videos above and read the rest of the Rappers and Zombies page by now. To begin to try to explain the behavior of zombies, let’s think about the role of the hypothalamus in regulating the release of hormones. Here’s the recap from the video on the Human Endocrine system above:

1. the hypothalamus releases a hormone that tells the

2. pituitary gland to

3. release another hormone into the bloodstream. This

4. hormone travels the bloodstream and

5. links with hormone receptor molecules in particular glands/muscles/tissues.

When a particular hormone reaches a certain level in the bloodstream, the hypothalamus either continues to produce or ceases to produce that hormone.

Now, let’s think about some of the hormones that are involved in hunger and appetite. Leptin is a hormone that suppresses the appetite. The higher the leptin levels, the lower the food intake. Ghrelin is a hormone that increases the appetite. It increases before meals and essentially tells the stomach to tell us that we’re hungry.

The brain scan in the Walking Dead scene shows that there is just enough electrical activity to stimulate the hypothalamus. Additionally, the activity from the brain scan also shows stimulation in the limbic system, which houses the amygdala. Finally, note that the activity does not travel very far through the cerebral cortex, particularly the frontal lobes (the seat of civilization), where judgment occurs.

Given what you know about hormones, the limbic system, amygdala, and frontal lobes, explain the zombies’ hunger, aggression, and lack of inhibition.

Be sure to incorporate content from the module and/or the chapter text into your work.

Once you have posted your initial response (of at least 150-250 words), read several of your classmates’ messages and reply substantively and thoughtfully to at least two of your peers’ posts.

Criteria on which you will be graded

· You’ve thoroughly explained the zombies’ behavior using your knowledge of the brain and endocrine systems

· You’ve connected your answers to the material and content in this lesson

· You’ve responded to at least two of your classmates and contributed to the conversation in a substantial or meaningful way

This activity may use a different grading rubric than what was used in past activities. Be sure to check the grading rubric here before starting.


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