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Brain Scanning entails scanning a person's brain and copying their consciousness, personality and memories into data format. This process was pioneered by David Munshi in 2015 and used by Catherine Chun in 2103 to create scans of the staff members of PATHOS-II for use in her ARK project.

History

At the beginning of the 21st century, David Munshi, PhD student in computer science, together with his colleague Paul Berg, a graduation student in neuroscience, were developing the Neurograph Nakajima at Pace Laboratories in Toronto. The objective was to scan a damaged brain to produce a computer model, conduct tests on the model without risk and find the optimal treatment for each patient. Later, this pioneer work lead to the development of A.I. construction, with the brain scan of Simon Jarrett, scanned in 2015 as one of the first test subjects, becoming a template model that would come with every development kit.

In Upsilon, in 2103, before the station's evacuation, Cief Factor Jane Adams orders the crew to stop using the pilot system due to complaints of the staff about experimenting headaches and such after the usage of pilot seats. It was later found that these were the collateral effects of the scanning process since WAU, acting on its own, has modified the pilot seats, used by Pathos-II personnel to control working robots, in a way that any staff member who used a pilot seat was brain scanned in secret. These scans were uploaded by WAU in machines over Pathos-II, creating the so called Mockingbirds.

The scanning technique used by WAU seemed to be superior to the neurograph technology used so far, producing more advanced sims. Catherine, who was developing a AR (Artificla Reality)-capsule to run primitive neurograph models, tried to run WAU's scan of Imogen Reed, but it was so "real" that didn't play well with the convencinal AI models. She then used the modified pilot seats to replicate the scanning technique developed by WAU for her project ARK.

Mechanics

The exact mechanics of brain scanning remain unclear, however, it does not transfer the mind; it produces a copy of the original mind, meaning that multiple copies of the same brain scan can exist.

Once stored in data format, the brain scan can be uploaded to a special Cortex Chip, which can be used to give machinery human intelligence and behavior.

There may be limits to how much mental pressure a copied personality can stand; for example, unless given the right conditions, Brandon Wan's brain scan will shut down due to excessive stress levels. This might also depend on the physical body the scan is loaded into, since Simon Jarrett's brain scan can survive the horrors of PATHOS-II with no ill effects.

Mental effects

So my mind is covering it up pretending nothing is different.
If it didn't you probably would be incapable to interact with the world at all and the stress would either kill you or make you go insane.
~ Dialogue between Simon Jarrett and Catherine Chun

When a scanned personality is copied, the newly created consciousness will not know that they aren't the original.

A scanned personality will not experience any lapses in time when inactive; they will experience disconnected bouts of consciousness.

Catherine explains that the human mind, knowing only one set of senses with which to perceive the world around it, adapts the functionality of its current body to meet the sensory expectations that the mind has. For this reason, brain scans loaded into robots are often convinced that they are still explicitly human, and claim to be able to see their flesh-and-blood hands and feet. When Simon originally awakens in PATHOS-II following his scan in Toronto, he is led to believe nothing has changed with his physical state, as his human hands are seen several times. It is only when the Upsilon Comm Center collapses and the room floods that Simon becomes aware that something is different, the full realization occurring when Catherine tells him that he is "a walking, talking diving suit with some electronics slapped on for good measure", when Simon meets her at Lambda.

Different individuals seem to have different reactions to this fact being revealed to them -- Carl Semken's brain scan in Upsilon is adamant in insisting that he is still human, becoming angry when Simon presses the matter. Simon, on the other hand, while initially expressing shock and disbelief, eventually comes to terms with his new condition, though throughout the course of the game's events he comes to frequently question whether his identity and perceptions are as valid as the original Simon from which his intelligence is based. Catherine, on the other hand, is significantly less perturbed by her new state, commenting that she was "never really comfortable with being human in the first place."

Side Effects

After the scanning process, due to the spike of eletromagnetism surrounding the scanning helmet,a person may experience temporary symptoms such as headaches and nausea that can last from some hours to a couple of days.

Appearances

2015-04-28 A neurograph scan of David Munshi was taken by his colleague Paul Berg.

2103-01-19 Carl Semken is presumably scanned by the WAU while using a modified pilot seat.

At some point after Carl's incident, Gavin Finley also experiments brain scan side effects after using a pilot seat. Chief Factor Jane Adams orders the Upsilon crew to stop using the pilot system.

2103-06-06 Imogen Reed, while investigating the Vivarium, finds her own brain scan in it's virtual reality.

2103-07-04 Catherine scans herself.

2103-07-05 Catherine scans Nicolai Ivashkin .

2103-07-06 Catherine scans Jasper Hill.

2103-07-08 Catherine scans Ian Pedersen

2103-07-10 Catherine scans Heather Wolchezk.

2103-07-12 Catherine scans Mark Sarang (commits suicide in the pilot chair). 

2103-07-29 Catherine scans Emma Alvaro.

2103-07-31 Catherine scans Imogen Reed.

2103-08-01 Catherine scans Louise Meuron (commits suicide).  

2103-08-04 Catherine scans Peter Strasky

2103-08-05 Catherine scans Nathan Grau, (another suicide).

2103-08-08 Catherine scans Maggie Komorebi .

2103-08-09 Catherine scans Nadine Masters .

2103-08-10 Catherine scans Vanessa Hart .

2103-08-11 Catherine scans Keith Fourqurean.

2103-08-12 Catherine scans Gavin Finley (another suicide.)

2103-08-17 Catherine scans Baxter Rogers .

2103-08-18 Catherine scans Chris Josic.

2103-08-19 Catherine scans Javid Goya.

2103-08-20 Catherine scans Astrid Krier (another suicide).

2103-08-24 Catherine scans Alice Koster .

2103-08-25 Catherine scans Brandon Wan .

2103-08-26 Catherine scans Robin Bass (who commits suicide by slitting her own throat in her bunk)  

Catherine is reprimanded by Security Operative John Strohmeier —one more death will end the project. 

2103-08-29 Catherine scans Dorian Cronstedt

2103-08-30 Catherine scans Martin Fisher .

2103-08-31 Catherine scans Vigdis “Jonsy” Jonsdottir.

2103-09-01 Catherine scans Matthew Frost.

2103-09-02 Catherine scans Guy Konrad (who commits suicide in the Pilot Seat using a high-powered microwave emitter (or maser) on his own head).  

Despite Catherine’s attempts to cover up the suicide with Strasky’s help, the ARK project is put on hold indefinitely. 

Crewmembers still waiting to be scanned were Joaquin Defreine, John Strohmeier, Richard Thabo, Jane Adams, Aashish Shankar, Marishika Daviau, and Shawn Evans. Unless they used Pilot Seats while the WAU was stealing brain scans, their scans should not be in any of the WAU-created robots.

2103-12-25 Omicron and Tau entire crews, except for Adam Golaski (who was rellocated from Omicron) and the ones who died at Tau's evacuation attempt, were scanned since the arrival of a team, from Theta , carrying the ARK.

In SOMA

2015-05-02 Simon Jarret is scanned by David Munshi.

2104-05-11 In Omicron Simon is scanned again and copied into Raleigh Herber's body inside a Power Suit. Later, in Phi, Simon and Catherine are scanned onto the ARK moments before it is launched into space.

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