Though neuroscience has ascended to impressive pinnacles, allowing minds to be thoroughly scanned, mapped, and emulated as software, the transhuman brain remains a place that is complicated, not fully understood, and thoroughly messy. Despite a prevalence of neural modifications, meddling with the seat of consciousness remains a tricky and hazardous procedure. Nevertheless, psychosurgery—editing the mind as software—remains common and widespread, sometimes with unexpected results. Likewise, even as the knowledge of neuroscientists grows on an exponential basis, some are discovering that minds are far more mysterious than they had ever imagined. During the Fall, scattered reports of “anomalous activity” by individuals infected by one of the numerous circulating nanoplagues were discounted as fear and paranoia, but subsequent investigations by black budget labs has proven otherwise. Now, toplevel confidential networks whisper that this infection inflicts intricate changes in the victim’s neural network that imbue them with strange and inexplicable abilities. The exact mechanism and nature of these abilities remains unexplained and outside the grasp of modern transhuman science. Given the evidence of a new brainwave type and the paranormal nature of this phenomenon, it is loosely referred to as “psi.”
In Eclipse Phase, psi is considered a special cognitive condition resulting from infection by the mutant—and hopefully otherwise benign—Watts-Macleod strain of the Exsurgent virus (p. 367). This plague modifies the victim’s mind, conferring special abilities. These abilities are inherent to the brain’s architecture and are copied when the mind is uploaded, allowing the character to retain their psi abilities when changing from morph to morph.
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