Students Staff

28 January 2013

Delving into the mind of a zombie

Colchester Campus

University of Essex scientists will be helping people delve into the mind of a zombie during a special event at the Science Museum in London this week.

The museum is staging ZombieLab, where visitors will be asked to imagine the world in a grip of a zombie outbreak and explore the science of consciousness while evading a zombie horde.

Dr Edd Codling, from the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Essex, has developed one of the live activities called ‘Horde’ which will explore collective behaviour, predator-prey dynamics and other elements of this area of science in a fun way with audiences.

"This event is a great opportunity to showcase some of the research we have been doing at Essex into collective behaviour and group decision making,” explained Dr Codling. “In contrast to zombies, individual humans make conscious decisions. What we are really interested in is whether there is a form of ‘group consciousness’ when many individuals – zombies or humans – interact and make decisions. At the moment we are studying how this could be important for when crowds of humans evacuate buildings, which could help with the future design of evacuation procedures and crowd management."

ZombieLab will be begin on the evening of Wednesday 30 January and continue over the weekend of the 2-3 February. It is a free, three-day event for ages 15 plus, featuring over 15 interactive experiences, including a Zombie Academy, collective behaviour experiments, hands-on demonstrations by leading consciousness researchers and the live criminal trial of a zombie – all designed to educate, surprise and fascinate while exploring consciousness and the scientific and social implications of a zombie attack.

ZombieLab will examine recent advances in consciousness research, including how the study of conscious experience can help our understanding of how we perceive the world.


Notes to Editors

ZombieLab is co-produced by the Science Museum and Trigger Stuff Ltd. For more information visit:

To interview Dr Edd Codling please call the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 872400 or e-mail

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