With typical modern depictions of werewolves (ie: turning into wolf-human hybrids) the victim suffers temporary amnesia and a loss of personality while transformed, is put into a state of extreme predatory hunger. And when they return to normal, they have no memory of what happened, and are in a state of confusion that may or may not be the result of lingering neurochemicals.

What kind of changes would have to occur in the brain in order for those effects to manifest? Based on my own limited knowledge of the brain, at the very least the transformation would probably cause the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus to be partially shut down.

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    $\begingroup$ Are we talking about the modern version of a werewolf, which is actually a weird hybrid of man and wolf, or the original definition of a shape change into an actual wolf? (Please take the time to read the wikipedia article.) This is like asking about vampires. You need to explain the exact nature of your werewolf or we can't answer the question - because there are too many versions out there to simply guess. $\endgroup$ – JBH Dec 28 '18 at 18:32
  • $\begingroup$ Definitely the modern half-man/half-wolf interpretation, so I'll edit to make that clarification. Thanks for pointing that out. $\endgroup$ – Zauber Paracelsus Dec 28 '18 at 18:36

If wolf abilities appear in the transformed, a large chunk of the brain which processes visual information will have to be rewired into dealing with smells. Since memories and skills are produced by physical changes in the brain (neuron connections, we think) these require some way to preserve necessary information to allow the re-imposition of these changes after each transformation back to human. Either that, or changes to the mechanism which controls memory access, and as far as I know that is still largely a mystery. Certainly it is well-known that memory is widely distributed through the brain, so changing the access process would seem necessary.

Plus, it's worth considering that humans have about 5 million olfactory sensors and dogs in excess of 200 million.

Impulse control/aggression seem to be largely a pre-frontal function, and you've covered that. I'd suggest the the limbic system would also be affected.


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