rating: +21+x

by Ethagon

Item #: SCP-6192

Object Class: Euclid

Level 2/6192


Assigned Site Site Directorate Research Head Assigned Department
Not Fixed.
Global Concerning.
N/A Dir. Thomas Weld Mimetics Department
Central Memetics Department
Explanation and Research Department

Special Containment Procedures: Knowledge of SCP-6192 must remain largely suppressed in the public scientific community so that all effects of the anomaly can be explained using non-anomalous science.

Individuals who possess a high density of SCP-6192 will be held in Humanoid Containment Cells (Type S-2) at either the nearest Foundation Site or in Sector 20-C at Site-138. No personnel is to come into line-of-sight of the subjects without body language and facial expression concealments. The subjects participate once a week in a mental health consultation with a member of the Site Psychology staff, where the subjects' mental health status is examined.

Description: SCP-6192 describes a neurological phenomenon in which a neuron fires both when a subject observes an activity or thought in someone else and when it performs the same activity or thought for itself. As this results in the neuron "mirroring" the activity of another neuron, it has been dubbed the "mirror neuron" by the public scientific community.

Mirror neuron systems are responsible for simulating thought patterns of observed subjects and thus build the basis for learning processes as well as emotions like empathy. Subjects with a high number of mirror neurons are capable of predicting emotions in other subjects with a 96% success rate and have in rare cases been able to mimic or transfer thought-based anomalies like cognitohazards and thaumaturgy to themselves.

So far, SCP-6192 has been found to occur in humans, other primates, birds and a small group of sentient anomalies.

History: In 1968 SCP-6192 was discovered by the Mimetics Department1 when observing brain patterns of humans at the moment of a mimetic infection. The phenomenon was not thought to be anomalous and did not receive SCP classification2 until a later point but was nevertheless only shared through Foundation-internal publishing.

In further experiments, the Mimetics Department was able to establish a correlation between a high mirror neuron density and the likelihood to start copying observed anomalous behaviour. Subjects with a highly developed mirror neuron system were also less susceptible to Standard-1960-Amnestics in neutralizing mimetic anomalies. It was theorized that amnestics are less effective in targeting anything not directly memory-related, leaving behaviour and feelings internalized by mirror neurons largely unaffected.

In 1971 the project is transferred to the Central Memetics Department.

The SCP-6192 project was transferred to the Central Memetics Department under the additional obligation to find a solution for individuals with a high neuron density on which amnestics for the suppression of mimetic anomalies wouldn't work. Other projects from the Mimetics Department were put under similar obligations.

Individuals with a high mirror neuron density were classified as Higher Mental Transcommunicators4 and containment procedures were established for them.5

After that, the Central Memetics Department ended its research on SCP-61926, diverting its attention to other projects. This is the last time anything about SCP-6192 was researched to date.

In 1992 the Disinformation Bureau alerted the Central Memetics Department to a public study that discovered the presence of mirror neurons in monkeys. The Disinformation Department believed the complete suppression of mirror neurons to only be possible by stopping brain research as a whole and thus unfeasible. For this reason, an alternative approach to suppression was requested.

At this point, the O5 Council called for an official meeting between them, the Disinformation Bureau and the Central Memetics Department. It was decided that basic research on mirror neurons would be deemed as non-anomalous, with the exception of their relation to empathy and the differing capabilities of individuals with a higher mirror neuron density.

MTF-Eta 23 is founded and requests permission to monitor scientific developments related to SCP-6192 instead of the Disinformation Bureau.

Together with the Disinformation Bureau, MTF Eta-23 faked a study to prove that there is no correlation between mirror neurons and empathy. Further measures were taken to keep a sceptical outlook towards this correlation inside the scientific community.

In 1997 Eta-23 requested a reevaluation of the anomalous status of SCP-6192. This request was never answered due to no department having the main responsibility for the anomaly.

The Disinformation Bureau later flagged an uptick in rumours surrounding SCP-6192 that were closer to the truth. This problem was discussed with Eta-23 and it was agreed to ignore the rumours as long as they didn't influence scientific consensus. As an additional measure, rumours that were farther away from the truth were also spread.

Current Situation: After the Explanation and Research Department was formed out of Eta-23 and other assets, a request is sent to the Classification Committee to reclassify SCP-6192 as Explained. The Classification Committee calls for a meeting for all prior involved departments, which is attended by the Explanation and Research Department, the Disinformation Bureau and the O5 Council. It is argued that "telepathy" still relies on body language and prior experience to successfully mirror thought patterns and thus not enough evidence for an anomalous phenomenon is present. Therefore spreading a memetic effect through the use of mirror neurons is no different than spreading it through a sensory information carrier. It is agreed to reclassify SCP-6192 to Explained.

Notice from the Explanation and Research Department

This File and all related documents are currently in the process of reclassification. Previously contained persons related to SCP-6192 will be reintegrated into society.

— Thomas Weld, Director, ExaRD

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