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Synaptic pattern displacement was a process relating to the transferal of consciousness to another brain. As of he late 2260, it had only been achieved by Vulcans.

In 2369, Kobliad criminal Rao Vantika utilized a process akin to synaptic pattern displacement in order to transfer his consciousness to Doctor Julian Bashir, as Vantika's body was on the verge of death. The process worked, and for a time Vantika was able to use Bashir's body toward his own ends. Vantika was eventually thwarted, however, when Lieutenant Dax was able to design an electromagnetic pulse to disrupt Vantika's neural energy patterns, allowing Bashir to regain control of his own body. (DS9: "The Passenger")

In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, writer Robert Hewitt Wolfe confirmed that this reference was a way to tip the hat to the Katra transfer discussed in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
A similar transfer process was used by Tieran, an Ilari dictator, in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Warlord".

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