I wrote this document as a piece of background information to be discovered by the player during the course of playing the game. It is illustrative of the level of detail we were attempting to achieve in Ghost, as well as the atmosphere we were trying to create.
Animal MES Programming Battery Tests
Progress Summary Report
The Animal Micro-Encephalographic Signal Programming Battery Tests were undertaken as a series of proof-of-concept trials run to validate the theories of Dr. Keegan and Dr. Godell. Trials were conducted on a sequence of animals of increasing cerebral development as techniques and understanding of neural sequencing patterns were refined. The feasibility of inducing commands and knowledge contrary to natural programming through the use of controlled micro-encephalographic signals (MES) was determined by this battery of tests.
The Animal Micro-Encephalographic Signal Programming Battery Tests had their foundation in the earlier brain studies of Dr. Keegan and Dr. Godell. Their work in mapping MES had indicated that there was a high degree of behavioral suggestibility in specific cerebral areas such as the Hippocampus and Temporal Lobes. Tests were then conceived and executed under the auspices of the Legion Project with the ultimate goal of validating these theories by modifying the neural pathways in the brains of animals to create an artificial memory.
First tests were run on Planeria because of their simple nervous system. It was determined that repeated electromagnetic impulses conditioned the neuron firing patterns of the Planeria and made them remember lessons they hadn't yet learned. This sequence was concluded in test LP-EVA-115b, during which a group of Planeria continuously avoided a wall they had been conditioned to remember as electrified. This conditioning was accomplished entirely through electromagnetic stimulus, and achieved a 97%±0.4% success rate.
Testing emphasis was then shifted to mammalian subjects. The techniques used on Planeria were insufficiently precise for use on the much more complex brains of rats, so new programming methods were rapidly developed. It was during this phase that the Controlled MES Projector was produced. By holding the brain in a Theta state (a state categorized by even brainwaves while the subject is near sleep) the CMES projector could be used to induce patterns in the subject neurons that rapidly replaced previous neuron patterns and induced new behaviors.
Forty-seven rats were subjected to a wide series of tests over a period of ten weeks. The first experiments served simply to identify which regions of the brain were excited when the rats navigated ordinary mazes (ref. LP-Rxx-0 to LP-Rxx-81f). Later tests were conducted with rats programmed with a variety of inseminated memories. These tests succeeded in different degrees, with results often depending on the complexity of the memory and the brain location(s) in which that memory was induced, as well as the amount of time which elapsed between administering the MES sequence and the time at which the existence of the new memory was tested. Post-mortems indicated that the increased success rate at greater Dt was most likely due to additional dendrite formation along conditioned neural paths, a theory also supported by the observation that younger rats (especially pre-adolescents) retained a programmed memory more quickly and accurately than older ones.
A notable case is rat 23, an adolescent male which was successfully programmed to remember that the left branch of any given choice of tunnels was to be avoided. This programming involved exciting those portions of the brain which told the rat to turn right, a response that was conditioned to occur when the rat had just reached a decision to turn left. The behavior of this rat when placed in a maze which it had previously memorized was substantially changed. Whenever it came to a junction at which it knew to turn left, it would pause and take the right-hand branch. Over a period which lasted slightly less than an hour, the rat became progressively more agitated until it finally sprinted into a long, straight section of maze, crouched against a wall and died.
Many attempts at memory induction more complex than simple binary reactions were attempted, meeting with varied levels of success. Most often animals so modified were driven to conditions similar to schizophrenia, a state defined by the inability to maintain focus over a multitude of uncontrollable thoughts. It was during this time that research was expanded to include lagomorphs as test subjects as well as rats.
The first successful implantation of a complete memory was "Bonny the Bunny". Bonny's mind was programmed repeatedly over the course of three weeks (ref. LP-BB-3a to LP-BB-3o), each time conditioned to locate a bottle of sugar water down different corridors of an extremely complex maze. Bonny found the bottle almost instantly each of the fifteen times the bottle was relocated.
At this point, deeper manipulation of behavior traits were attempted in search of the "reptilian cortex", the primitive part of the brain that is conditioned for survival and reproduction. The first two attempts at reaching this depth in Bonny failed, and it was deduced that areas of the spinal column also needed to be stimulated. This was a turning point in the tests, as it was previously thought that all motor activity and thought processes originated in the brain. It was successively demonstrated that the spinal column (specifically the PONS and medulla oblongata) trigger sleep as well as controlling the "mode" of the brain, be that Alpha, Theta, Delta or REM. Unfortunately the CMES projector proved too imprecise an instrument to be used for this series of conditioning, and it was necessary to apply the MES via minute subdural transmitters.
Bonny's head and spine were shaved clean for the process, and micro-encephalographic transmitters were implanted at key points along the rabbit's nervous system. The process seemed to work fairly well; Bonny became more instinctually aware of danger and fought to escape potentially dangerous environs. This was markedly different behavior that her previous, docile character, and this success laid the groundwork for creating true (Shannon Information Cascade) memory responses. A large portion of the subsequent effort was then focused on developing programming techniques that were more reliable and less intrusive.
Further experiments were conducted using more specialized programming signals. A Guido (Self-Guiding) routine was developed which allowed the desired signals to be fed through less restrictive conditions and still impact the desired neurons. Bonny no longer had to be sedated and kept in a Theta state; nor was it necessary to use the subdural transmitters. The Guido routine was able to travel subliminally, through subconscious routes such as those used by the autonomous nervous system and the medulla oblongata. These are the same subconscious routes hypnotists access when digging for "buried" memories. For this reason, the programming process was now seen as a means of direct, guaranteed hypnosis.
Some of these specialized signals included an instinct to find and attack a threatening body before it found and attacked her. Combining maze learning techniques with an aggression reaction proved very successful. In seven of eight tests (ref. LP-BB-3Xf to LP-BB-3Xl) Bonny immediately located and attacked an unscented stuffed doll along different paths of a complex maze.
Side effects were at times unexplainable. While rapid mental imbalance among other animals was common in the earlier techniques, Bonny remained sane and programmable throughout much of the project. However, when her fur returned, it was bleach white, unlike the sandy brown she was born with. The most likely explanation for this was that a hormonal imbalance may have occurred when the animal's biorhythm was affected. The implanted commands may have unintentionally caused certain glands to behave as if the rabbit were of a much more advanced age. This condition has occasionally been observed in other animals, and is still under observation.
Other side effects were more predictable, such as insomnia, weight loss, and paranoia. Bonny eventually fell prey to the same type of mental degradation that afflicted her counterparts, gnawing at one of her own feet until it was nearly severed from the leg, which resulted in her death during the night due to blood loss. Interestingly enough, a biopsy revealed abnormally high concentrations of glial cells in the brain stem, specifically Astrocytes and Microglia. There was no evidence that the Microglia had entered a phagocytic state; however, all test animals are now routinely surveyed for this condition.
Tests have continued using more advanced programs and animals. These animals were treated with a signal that buried itself until triggered with either a pattern of lights or sounds. The program was also successfully created to disappear after being triggered. Chimpanzees were trained to carry out detailed activities in the midst of clear harm, and once completed none of them could or would duplicate the behavior on their own. These activities have included leaping from great heights, navigating mazes of electrified caging, and tagging aggressive predators such as owls, large cats, and a rabid wolf.
The results of this latest battery of tests will be added to this document when this portion of the experiment concludes. The present test series has been wildly successful, both in confirming the preliminary theories of Dr. Keegan and Dr. Godell, as well as in validating the use of controlled micro-encephalographic signals as a feasible method of implanting commands and knowledge onto the tableau of the mind.
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