It’s widely accepted that zombies possess gross motor skills, including the ability to lift their heads, rollover, sit up, balance Zombie Fine Motor Skillson two legs, and walk.  But ZRS Researcher Karen Hartley suggests that the undead likely have fine motor function as well.

Fine motor skills involve the use of very precise movement in order to complete delicate tasks.  Examples of fine motor skills are transferring objects from hand to hand, and using hand-eye coordination to reach out and grasp objects.  Hartley’s argument is based on the belief that zombies are able to grab their victims.

“Grasping, clutching, and maintaining a hold on an arm, leg or piece of clothing requires a number of fine and gross motor skills working together.”

Additionally, she argues that zombies with only gross motor skills would not be able maneuver over benign obstacles, like debris in the road, or even a street curb.  A zombie unable to walk on anything but a flat, smooth surface is a zombie that represents almost no threat to any able-bodied human.

If Hartley’s theory is correct the implications could be profound, because zombies with fine motor skills might also have no problem opening doorknobs, picking up rocks, clubs and other weapons, and even climbing fences.

So which do you think it is?  Are zombies gross and relatively safe, or are zombies fine and even more dangerous than we originally imagined?

No comments

  1. Presupposing the ability of zombies to produce fine motor movements, they would still lack the reasoning skills necessary to operate even basic machinery with intent.

    Having balance and and the ability to produce a firm grasp do suggest that they are capable of making fine movements, but this is not unexpected. Even with a rudimentary nervous system and basic motor function this would be possible. Thus, they are incapable of higher reasoning and their fine motor movement does not constitute a ready threat.

    Quite the opposite, in fact. This gives us an advantage as we are now aware of their need for fine motor movement in order to remain operational. This means that they possess another vulnerable point to exploit. By interrupting sensory feedback from the extremities, we could perhaps eliminate their ability to retain balance, making them inherently less mobile.

    Sensory interruption devices such as those found in modern riot control arsenals may once again find a place in the war against the undead. Further research, will, of course, be required before field trials can be started.

    • smoke grenades, flashbangs. The rub here is that what if zombies have some sort of sixth sense to know where food is. The closest thing I think we come to that now is, for humans, when danger is around, or when you get that itch between your shoulderblades like somebody(thing) is watching you.

      If zombies have no sixth sense type of ability, then all our riot control stuff might work.

      As for reasoning, I think you’re correct when you say they have no HIGHER reasoning abilities. I think the most they can reason is, “food, thing in way, must go around thing to get food” type of stuff.

      And ofcourse, we should all invest in knob type door handles, and not the lever kind.

      • I’m not sure that they would have any senses unbeknown to mankind. After all, they are still utilizing our human biology as a base.

        Aside from sensory confusion with riot control methods, could we not also utilize riot control systems designed to interrupt nervous systems and are known to cause immediate and lasting damage if misused? By simply eliminating fine motor control, even without destroying the complete nervous system, we will greatly cripple the capabilities of invading Zombies.

        And I agree completely with the need for doorknobs and deadlocks as a critical component of Zombie defense.

      • There was another article that would tie into this, it had to do with tasers. But it had focused on the human threat for the use of a taser rather than the zombie threat.

  2. I think that zombies only have enough fine motor function necessary to capture prey. They MIGHT have the fine motor functions to open a lever door handle, but not a round door knob. And I have to hope that they don’t have the capability to reason out what to do to get the door open in the first place….besides busting it off its hinges.

    Debris in the road, depending on how big said debris is, I think the zombies will just go around it. But if it’s small enough (knee height or smaller), they’ll just try to walk over it and probably trip.

    So I have to agree with Karen, zombie have both fine and gross motor skills.

    • I would think that although they might have advanced fine motor skills, event to the point of possibly opening knob doors, I dont think that they would have the intelligence to know what to do, whether it be a knob, or a lever, or even a handicap button 🙂

  3. great points!

    in short, I lean towards gross. i don’t know anything about neurology, so anyone please correct me if i’m wrong.

    But i IMAGINE that zombies have the capacity for motor skills ONLY insofar as they relate to eating prey. Case in point, yes they can grasp an arm or leg and bring it to their mouth, but if they lack the REASONING to avoid walking off a cliff (as Max Brooks suggests) then I believe they would lack the reasoning to navigate simple obstacles (such as debris in the road, tripping hazards, etc.)

    A zombie that could open a doorknob would be a zombie that could REASON enough to know that opening this door is connected with eating prey, and i imagine zombies simply cannot reason this far.

    your thoughts?

  4. Well the ability to climb a fence or use a club are possible but I don’t think that the zombie will know how you climb the fence. Can a zombie make the connection that it must go up and over the fence to get to the pray. I hope not because things like opening a door or using clubs requires the ability to reason and if the zombies can think than we are in for one hell of a long night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Scroll To Top