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The brain probe is a machine used by the Cylons as a means of extracting information from humans who are uncooperative.
The machine works by tapping the nerve impulses to and from the brain, and then storing them to computer memory. Two Centurions are needed to run the machine, while a third Centurion remains to assist, in the event the subject requires restraint. The process is unpleasant to humans, but survivable with no apparent brain damage.