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I am writing a novel, in which the main character has their mind transferred to a wolf body, losing all their memories in the process.

My current explanation is that the state of every neuron in the human's brain was measured, and after some translation, the wolf's neurons were modified (perhaps by focused EMP's), so that it basically matched the human brain. Differences in human/wolf neurology and imperfect brain-to-brain translation account for the amnesia.

Are there any flaws in this method (other than the fact the technology doesn't exist yet) ? And how else could this be done? What side effects could be expected?

Answers not involving whole brain transplants or magic would be preferable. apart from the mind swapping, I want my novel to be as realistic as possible

You can read the beginning of the novel over at https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3200987/1/In-The-End

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  • $\begingroup$ Watch the matrix a scene where Neo took the red pill and awaken in real world, he needs to undergo a kind of therapy to connect his mind to his body since they were "disconnected". I personally do think that it will work in case of a wolf, just don't use the wrong electrode to simulate the wrong muscle tissues. $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Apr 10, 2015 at 8:42
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    $\begingroup$ You're putting a human brain inside an animal one. I think you can rely on suspension of disbelief for the explanation of whether the technology works. That, or quantum physics. Perhaps an experiment gone wrong manages to teleport a human's brain into a wolf's? $\endgroup$ Apr 10, 2015 at 10:24
  • $\begingroup$ Since this relies on factors not known to current science and you haven't specified you want a technology-based solution, I'd say take the easy route: magic! $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Apr 10, 2015 at 12:24
  • $\begingroup$ Frostfyre, you're right, I should have specified! I'll edit that in right now. $\endgroup$
    – Ryan Krage
    Apr 10, 2015 at 12:28
  • $\begingroup$ The only flaw I see with the idea is the lack of originality. But the details might make it more interesting. $\endgroup$
    – Vincent
    Apr 10, 2015 at 15:47

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Number of neurons and skull volume would thwart your scheme. Wolf brain is much, much smaller. Human brain won't fit, even if surgically inserted there, never mind rewiring the wolf brain.

Your option is removing the two brains and enclosing them in life-support jars at the lab. Implanting a transceiver connected to neural endings in the wolf skull, and a similar transceiver attached to the stub of the spinal cord and remaining neural endings of the human brain in the lab. Map the nerve endings right, and have the brain sitting in the laboratory perceive whatever the wolf body perceives and control it as if it was its own body - remotely, over the radio.

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    $\begingroup$ Excellent point, I didn't think of that. I just assumed that the brains would have a similar number of neurons, regardless of size. it does upset, my plot a little, but thanks. $\endgroup$
    – Ryan Krage
    Apr 10, 2015 at 15:01
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    $\begingroup$ I'm wondering can we apply Moore law to neurons? $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Apr 11, 2015 at 8:21
  • $\begingroup$ @user6760: The number doubles every 10 months? No, I really don't think so. $\endgroup$
    – SF.
    Apr 11, 2015 at 11:57
  • $\begingroup$ Size really isn't a great indicator of much for brains. See e.g. newscientist.com/article/… $\endgroup$
    – fectin
    Mar 17, 2017 at 17:12
  • $\begingroup$ even then you have big problems, you still need the human brain to make the human body work and hte same for the wolf, the cerebellum works not just in moving but also in how we think so you can't just wire one to the other cerebellum either. $\endgroup$
    – John
    May 24, 2018 at 4:52
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The thing to actually do is maybe that the wolf and the human had a physical morphosis too, so that the human brain and the wolf brain would fit in each of the corresponding skulls, and that the amnesia could count as a failed transition. The Brain of the wolf is smaller and the human brain is bigger, so either you transform their bodies a bit, and they have a failed experiment or something else.

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Simulation

An organic brain would be almost impossible to manipulate in this way... it would require a complete rebuilding of almost every single neuron (which we aren't even close to knowing how to do), and there would be no continuity of "person" (no identity, no memories, etc.).

However, if you take a scan of both brains, and then simulate those brains in a computer... you could put those minds into a virtual environment in any kind of body you want.

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This answer will be a bit interesting....many people believe in their being a spirit, something inside that sustains life. How many of us have come to believe the body is just a shell, with the spirit being the true self? If this is true, then all that needs to be done is create technology capable of drawing out a spirit and putting it into another body.

This should work, but it'll be interesting; when the spirit and the body come together, it creates the soul (as far as I believe), and two influence each other back and forth. Our minds and hearts are often influenced by our body's built-in drives and instincts. A human spirit and intelligence with a wolf's pack predator mentality and aggression will be an interesting combo, especially vice versa.

A wolf's intelligence is more primal (driven by instinct), and less developed. Inside a human body, the wolf will be able to reason and think as well as a human, but the wolf will lack more self-control than most people do, instinctively following his or her instincts. That being said, this wolf will likely be more of a team player than regular people. (That and this person will have a thinh for raw, even live meat....)

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