Zombified: A production of ASU and Zombie Apocalypse Medicine

Your source for fresh brains

About the show

Is something taking over your brain? Zombified is a new podcast about how we are vulnerable to being hijacked by things that are not us. From microbes hijacking behavior, to humans influencing each other, to our brains being taken over by social media, we talk about why zombification happens, why we are susceptible to it, and what we can do about it. Hosted by Dr. Athena Aktipis, a Psychology Professor at Arizona State University and the founder of the Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Alliance, and co-hosted by zombie enthusiast Dave Lundberg-Kenrick, “Zombified” takes a radically interdisciplinary approach to the science of zombification. If you enjoy fresh brains, this podcast is for you!

Zombified: A production of ASU and Zombie Apocalypse Medicine on social media

Episodes

  • Conspiracy: Chelsey Weber-Smith

    November 3rd, 2020  |  Season 3  |  1 hr 15 mins
    american hysteria, apocalypse, conspiracy, fake news, illuminati, prejudice, zombie

    Who is really behind conspiracy theories? From the idea that the CIA killed Kennedy to the idea that people actually walked on the moon, we’ve all heard conspiracies ranging from the slightly plausible to the downright bizarre. But where do these theories come from? Are they themselves created by some nefarious shadow government? Or do they arise naturally as people attempt to make sense of the world. If you're curious to know the truth behind conspiracy theories, listen to this episode with guest Chelsey Weber-Smith. Chelsey is the host of the American Hysteria podcast, a former conspiracy theorist and expert on American cultural history. In this episode, Chelsey talks about growing up with a prepper parent, a close encounter with Bohemian Grove and the strange history of conspiracy thinking in America. Check this episode out - but only if you’re prepared for the truth!

  • Competified: Scott Brooks

    October 14th, 2020  |  Season 3  |  1 hr 23 mins
    competition, soccer, sports

    Have you been zombified by competition? On this week's episode we talk with sociologist and assistant director of the Global Sport Institute at ASU about his experience as a competitive athlete, and his experience as a parent and coach, helping kids get the benefits of sports without becoming completely competified. No matter if you're a professional athlete, or spend all of grade school being picked last in gym class, you'll enjoy Scott's take on how sports and competition can be a force for good in today's zombified world.

  • Addicted: Matt Meier

    October 6th, 2020  |  Season 3  |  1 hr 22 mins
    addiction, beer, coffee, drugs

    Drugs on the brain? From coffee and beer to opiates and bath salts, drugs have fascinating effects on our behavior, our desires and our personalities. In this episode we talk to addiction expert and clinical psychologist Matt Meier about being under the influence. We cover the serious side and the silly side of the many ways that drugs can zombify us. Once you start listening to this episode, you won't be able to quit.

  • Who's on your Z-team? Cam Carlson

    October 2nd, 2020  |  Season 3  |  1 hr 20 mins
    apocalypse, survival, trust, zombie

    Who you gonna call in the zombie apocalypse? In this extraordinarily apocalyptic episode, we talk with Cam Carlson - one of the leaders of the Zombie Research Society, a doctor of public health, and an active duty officer in the US Navy - about how to put together your Z-team. We cover everything from the most important zombie apocalypse survival skills, to the challenges of going it on your own, to the all-important skill of how to build trust among strangers in the post-apocalyptic world. Also, Dave discusses the circumstances in which he would eat his dog.

  • The Toxopocalypse: Jessica Brinkworth

    October 2nd, 2020  |  Season 3  |  1 hr 20 mins
    apocalypse, cats, parasite, toxoplasma gondii, zombie

    We've all seen how disease changes our behavior, but did you know that there are diseases that actually hijack our brains? In this episode we talk with immunologist and evolutionary anthropologist Jessica Brinkworth about the parasite toxoplasma gondii, perhaps best known for it's presence in kitty litter. Jessica explains the many ways that toxo zombifies us and other mammals, hijacking even our own cells to make them little zombies bent on perpetuating toxo. Toxoplasma gondii also plays a role in human behavior, affecting risk taking behaviors and vulnerability to schizophrenia. The toxopocalypse expands even outwards to the ecosystems we are embedded within, threatening species in our oceans and beyond. If you've ever wondered what evil lurks in your cat box, you'll definitely want to listen to this episode.

  • Apocalyptish Times: Season 3 live premier

    October 2nd, 2020  |  Season 3  |  1 hr 17 mins
    apocalypse, art, cats, dance, medicine, pandemic, survival, zombie

    Join Zombified hosts Athena & Dave for an apocalyptish afternoon as we launch Season 3 of the Zombified podcast. We talk with immunologist Jessica Brinkworth and zombie apocalypse survival expert Cam Carlson about our current apocalyptish times. We also chat with Channel Zed director Ilana Rein, collaborating producer Erica O'Neil and host of the Dr. Zed Show, Joe Alcock. Don't miss the special appearance from Carl Flink and Black Label Movement. They join us in hazmat suits and describe their plans to dance their way from Minnesota to Arizona in an RV as part of Channel Zed's new reality show, Unreal World.

  • Adapted for the apocalypse: Mike Gurven

    June 5th, 2020  |  Season 2  |  1 hr 4 secs
    disaster, evolution, sex

    Are we ready for the apocalypse? In this episode, evolutionary anthropologist Mike Gurven explains how humans have encountered apocalyptic conditions - whether disease, disasters or war - throughout our evolutionary history. We talk with Mike about what the likely scale of destruction was in ancestral apocalypses, how sex helped us bounce back from population decimation, and why we need math to understand how much a part of life death was for our ancestors. This one is definitely dark, but also morbidly inspiring. If we evolved to deal with apocalypses, we might be a hell of a lot more resilient to hellish conditions than we think.

  • Screen time: Ilana Rein

    May 29th, 2020  |  Season 2  |  1 hr 40 mins
    film, memory, technology

    In this episode, filmmaker Ilana Rein explains how screens zombify us for better and for worse. We talk about the mind-numbing comfort of zoning out on our screens, the creepiness of having Netflix algorithms poking our brains, and how her Alzheimer's afflicted mom avoided getting hijacked by a scammer by covering her computer with a tablecloth.

  • Social parasites: Doug Kenrick

    May 19th, 2020  |  Season 2  |  1 hr 51 mins
    evolutionary psychology, smartphone

    What was it like for Zombified co-host Dave Lundberg-Kenrick growing up with an evolutionary psychologist for a dad? Like growing up in a constant existential crisis, says Dave. In this episode we talk with Doug Kenrick, one of the founders of the field of evolutionary psychology (and Dave's dad) about how our evolutionary history has shaped our brains and behavior, making us susceptible to being parasitized. According to Doug, our evolved motives set up us to be parasitized by all sorts of parasites, from friends and family, to the many social parasites lurking on our computers and smartphones.

  • The age of ascension: Lee Cronk

    May 12th, 2020  |  Season 2  |  1 hr 13 mins
    kids, memes, parenting

    Curious what makes for a successful internet meme? In this episode, we talk with Anthropologist and cultural transmission expert Lee Cronk about memes, fake news and lying to children. Lee explains why his kids thought they were going to the planet Zandar when they turned 14, what coney dogs are really made of, and how Nike's marketing department messed up in the 80s. We talk about how our receptivity to taking in information from others is part of what makes humans so awesome, but it also part of why we are so damn vulnerable to being manipulated.

  • Imitate this! Cristine Legare

    March 24th, 2020  |  Season 2  |  1 hr 21 mins
    education, imitation, kids, mimicry, parenting

    In this episode, Cristine Legare explains how imitation is at the heart of what makes us human. Cristine studies how kids learn through imitation, and how this helps kids learn what they need to know in order to survive and thrive in whatever environment they find themselves in. She also explains how our ability to imitate is both a great power and a serious vulnerability. Cristine offers a serious brain share in this inimitable episode.

  • Paranoid: Nichola Raihani

    March 17th, 2020  |  Season 2  |  1 hr 19 secs

    In this episode, psychologist and evolutionary biologist Nichola Raihani talks talks about why being paranoid might not actually be so crazy. Nichola tells us about the many influences on paranoid thinking, the evolutionary reasons why we can be suspicious of others, and she explains the difference between paranoia and conspiracy thinking, If you're a little bit paranoid, or know somebody who is, this episode is for you!

  • Bat shit: David Quammen

    March 10th, 2020  |  Season 2  |  1 hr 36 mins
    corvid19, outbreak, pandemic

    Where do pandemics come from? In this Zombified episode, author and science communicator David Quammen talks with us about the origins of viral diseases and the stories behind how pandemics start through and spread. We talk about bats and their role in zoonotic diseases, the origins of AIDS, and David presciently warns of the Zombie Apocalypse by way of single stranded DNA viruses (despite the fact that we recorded this episode before the COVID19 outbreak).

  • My GPS made me do it: Katina Michael

    March 3rd, 2020  |  Season 2  |  1 hr 20 mins
    ethics, technology

    Have you ever driven onto an airport runway when you were just following your GPS? In this episode of Zombified, we talk to technologist Katina Michael about the risks and opportunities that come from embedding ourselves more and more deeply in technology, and embedding technology more deeply in ourselves. From brain implants to the economic technopocalypse, we hear from Katina about how we can protect our humanity, or at least give it up more gracefully as we relinquish more and more of our autonomy to devices and the algorithms that live inside them.

  • Microchimeric mombie: Amy Boddy

    February 25th, 2020  |  Season 2  |  1 hr 1 min
    babies, microchimerism, pregnancy

    While you were in the womb, cells from your mom took up residence inside you. And cells from your baby body transferred to your mom as well, settling down in her tissues and organs. In this episode we talk with evolutionary biologist Amy Boddy about this phenomenon - called maternal-fetal microchimerism - and what it means for our understanding of who we are. If you've had a baby (or a few babies), cells from those babies may be inside your body and brain right now, proliferating and interacting with the rest of you. What are they doing and why? Listen and find out!

  • Placental hijacking: David Haig

    February 14th, 2020  |  Season 2  |  57 mins 56 secs
    placenta, pregnancy, sharks

    Did you know that genes from your mom and genes from your dad battled it out inside you (and in your placenta) while you were in the womb? In this episode, Harvard evolutionary biologist, David Haig, explains where babies come from and how they hijack their parents to take care of them. From the intricate details of shark pregnancy to the parenting strategies of plants, David shares both curious sex facts and disturbing strategies of reproduction across the tree of life. And you'll learn more than you wanted to know about the most wonderful and creepy organ of all, the placenta.