Brain scanning entails the scanning of a brain and the copying of that brain's consciousness, personality, memories, into a data format. David Munshi provided the method for brain scanning in 2015, the robotics field of science utilized the concept to create A.I. templates.
In 2103, the WAU modified the PATHOS-II pilot system to brain scan operators. The WAU's method is superior to David Munshi's method, so Catherine Chun reverse-engineered her own design based on the WAU one.
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.
The use of the concept in medicinal science was not, at least initially, successful due to Simon Jarrett, a volunteer test subject, dying because of the proposed treatment failing. The concept was adopted by the robotics field of science where the brain scans were used as templates for artificial intelligence.
In 2103, WAU, an A.I. managing PATHOS-II, converted the pilot systems to serve as brain scanners. The scanning process caused headaches, nausea. Diagnostics revealed a spike of electromagnetism during usage, which was believed to be the cause. Usage of the pilot system was disallowed by order from Chief Factor Jane Adams when a Field Service Technician, Gavin Finley, was rendered unconscious for 30 hours while directing a helper-robot cluster.
The WAU uploaded scans of pilot system operators to machines, utilizing a Cortex chip, over Pathos-II, creating the so-called Mockingbirds.
Catherine Chun, Systems Engineer, who were developing an artificial reality capsule to run compressed Nakajima neurograph models, attempted to use WAU's pilot system scan of Imogen Reed with the compressed Nakajima neurograph models but the simulated Imogen Reed was so "real" that Catherine Chun had to terminate the simulated Imogen Reed due to difficulties behaviorally corresponding with the compressed Nakajima neurograph models.
Catherine Chun reversed-engineered the Vivarium, an artificial reality capsule created by the WAU, to create the ARK. Then used the WAU-modified pilot system brain scanners to conduct brain scans of PATHOS-II personnel. And so she had created a method to convert people to computers and fabricated a virtual world for them to live in.
- "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
There may be limits to how much mental pressure a copied personality can endure; for example, complications have been known to occur if the copied personality is not given the appropriate conditions:
- Brandon Wan's simulation will terminate due to excessive stress levels. Catherine Chun implies that this is to prevent the simulated person from becoming insane.
- Imogen Reed's simulation were unable to behave appropriately with other simulated people. Though unknown if simulated versions of Imogen Reed share this perception; the original Imogen Reed disliked the concept of a virtual reality due to not accepting it as real.
- Catherine Chun's simulation over-loaded the cortex chip and short-circuited the terminal she was uploaded in due to excess stress in an argument, though her argument-partner, Simon Jarrett, endured through.
Catherine Chun believed that the type of the physical body the scan is loaded into affect the mental state of the simulated person. A mechanical body, such as BULL (UH3)s and Mockingbirds, caused unreliable behavior. A cyborg body, such as Simon Jarrett's, seem to be the most capable. Though Catherine Chun, in a Mockingbird body, managed to retain her mental faculties, even when removed from the body and uploaded to an Omnitool, a sensation of floating suspended in air which she thought interesting when pondering it.
The human mind adapts to the means available to perceive the world with to meet the sensory expectations of an organic body, such as an Occu-Torch providing perception of sight and of sound, due to knowing only one set of senses to perceive the world with. Additionally, a scanned personality is not aware if it is disabled and will not know that they were disabled if reactivated.
This is the cause of why most simulated personalities believe that they are still human. Imogen Reed seemed to believe that Mockingbirds, at least, deduce that they are copies eventually, which was her reasoning for disabling Harry Halperin's simulation, not caring that he seemed happy at the time to simply experience.
- Robin Bass' simulation in a Mockingbird were confused and unable to determine if she is in the ARK, the possibility that she isn't had her distressed. She seems not to realize that she is a Mockingbird.
- Javid Goya's simulation in a UH3 is completely delusional, not directly acknowledging Simon Jarrett's presence and believing that he is merely remotely controlling the UH3 using the pilot system.
- Carl Semken's simulation in a Mockingbird refused to acknowledge that he was anything but human, claiming its metallic hands were organic.
- Adam Golaski's simulation in a Mockingbird refused to acknowledge that he was anything but human, believing he could stand when he was actually immobile on the floor and later amazed by the similarity of the original Adam Golaski when it met him.
- Simon Jarrett's simulation, in a unique body, did not notice he was a scanned copy until the illusion could no longer be maintained due to him being able to breathe under water.
The "continuity" doctrine regarding the ARK was suggested by Mark Sarang and proposes that when you are first brain scanned; during a short moment, the original and the copy is identical, in terms of development, but will soon be two distinct entities due to diverging experiences. The proposed method to counter this is to end your previous, original, existence during or quickly after you are brain scanned, as this will allow you to cease experiencing the real world but leaving behind an identical copy of you that will be ready to explore the virtual world of the ARK.
Mark Sarang did not reveal his belief when he was brain scanned by Catherine Chun and then suicided. John Strohmeier and others attempted to learn why this occurred and did so by forcefully entering Mark Sarang's room in Theta, in violation of Carthage Industries' company policy. The "continuity" belief spread at PATHOS-II and was soon adopted by other, like-minded, people who waited for their turn to be scanned.
The continuity belief was later likened to a coin toss. The concept of a coin toss applied to the continuity belief resulted in the process appearing as if the outcome was chance-based. In reality, the outcomes are fixed and the perception of people being scanned determined which outcome: A person realizing that only the duplicate will be on the Ark will have the duplicate be surprised due to being an identical copy who could not initially determine that existence was the copy; likewise, a person believing that they will be the one uploaded to the Ark will have the copy be unsurprised but will have the original be disappointed. Thus the outcome of the coin toss is determined. The sheer disgruntlement for some who misinterpret the idea tended to unleash their feelings against Chun.
The "continuity"-related suicides are the reason why the ARK-project was suspended.
2015-04-28 - Paul Berg scans David Munshi.
2015-05-02 - David Munshi scans Simon Jarrett.
2103-01-19 - Carl Semken is presumably scanned by the WAU while using a modified pilot seat. Evidence of this is shown when Carl's scan is used inside of a Mockingbird. There is no proof to show that Carl was ever scanned by Catherine as part of the ARK project.
At some point after Carl's incident, Gavin Finley also experiences 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 its virtual reality. She was likely scanned by the WAU when using the pilot system.
2103-07-04 - Catherine Chun scans herself.
2103-07-05 - Catherine Chun scans Nicolai Ivashkin.
2103-07-06 - Catherine Chun scans Jasper Hill.
2103-07-08 - Catherine Chun scans Ian Pedersen.
2103-07-10 - Catherine Chun scans Heather Wolchezk.
2103-07-12 - Catherine Chun scans Mark Sarang, who then committed suicide, immediately after the scan, by chewing gum containing cyanide salts folded into it.
2103-07-29 - Catherine Chun scans Emma Alvaro.
2103-07-31 - Catherine Chun scans Imogen Reed.
2103-08-01 - Catherine Chun scans Louise Meuron, who then committed suicide.
2103-08-04 - Catherine Chun scans Peter Strasky.
2103-08-05 - Catherine Chun scans Nathan Grau, who then comitted suicide.
2103-08-08 - Catherine Chun scans Maggie Komorebi.
2103-08-09 - Catherine Chun scans Nadine Masters.
2103-08-10 - Catherine Chun scans Vanessa Hart.
2103-08-11 - Catherine Chun scans Keith Fourqurean.
2103-08-12 - Catherine Chun scans Gavin Finley, who then comitted suicide.
2103-08-17 - Catherine Chun scans Baxter Rogers.
2103-08-18 - Catherine Chun scans Chris Josic.
2103-08-19 - Catherine Chun scans Javid Goya.
2103-08-20 - Catherine Chun scans Astrid Krier, who then comitted suicide.
2103-08-24 - Catherine Chun scans Alice Koster.
2103-08-25 - Catherine Chun scans Brandon Wan.
2103-08-26 - Catherine Chun scans Robin Bass, who then comitted suicide by slitting her own throat in her bunk.
Catherine Chun is reprimanded by Security Operative John Strohmeier. One more death will end the project.
2103-08-29 - Catherine Chun scans Dorian Cronstedt.
2103-08-30 - Catherine Chun scans Martin Fisher.
2103-08-31 - Catherine Chun scans Vigdis “Jonsy” Jonsdottir.
2103-09-01 - Catherine Chun scans Matthew Frost.
2103-09-02 Catherine Chun scans Guy Konrad, who then commited suicide by using a high-powered microwave emitter (maser) on his own head.
Catherine’s attempts to cover up the suicide with Strasky’s help but is, presumably, discovered. The ARK project is suspended indefinitely.
Other PATHOS-II personnel scheduled 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; they were not scanned.
2104-05-11 - Catherine Chun scans Simon Jarrett. Later but likely the same date, in Phi, Simon and Catherine are scanned then uploaded to the ARK.
Adam Golaski was also scanned at some point.
- Though only similar in a figurative sense, the brain scan procedure has been likened to taking a picture. Simon Jarrett humorously jokes, on two occasions, that Indians native to America once believed that cameras would steal their souls. Catherine Chun, when scanning Simon to copy and upload him in a new body, states that they would be correct in this case.
- Adam Golaski ceased to dream after his brain scan and suspected that the brain scanning procedure does something to the scanned brain but what exactly is never revealed. But Imogen Reed did not cease to dream, yet her scanning procedure was interrupted by her having a seizure.