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"You are free to examine the Magi's data recorders. There is no record of any such incident."
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Gehirn (German: brain) is Nerv's predecessor organization, originally tasked with the research and development of the Evangelions, Magi supercomputers, Nerv HQ, and Tokyo-3 while it was under construction. A special organization nominally under the supervision of the United Nations, Gehirn was in reality secretly backed by the shadowy Seele organization. Its project leader was Gendo Ikari, and its chief scientist was Dr. Naoko Akagi.

While the city of Hakone was being rebuilt into Tokyo-3 and the subterranean Nerv HQ complex was still under construction, Gehirn operated the United Nations "Artificial Evolution Laboratory" in Hakone. Indeed, as Gehirn's existence was officially a secret, the organization's public face was simply the "U.N. Artificial Evolution Laboratory".

It is not clear when Gehirn was first created, but it seems to have been created soon after Second Impact in the year 2000, as an outgrowth of an earlier United Nations research group (itself backed by Seele) of which Gendo Ikari and Dr. Katsuragi were members. Gehirn was in operation at the latest by 2003 when Kozo Fuyutsuki confronted Gendo about his knowledge of Second Impact and Adam.

When Gehirn finished work on Tokyo-3 and the Magi, it was reorganized and renamed "Nerv" in 2010. All Gehirn staff were transfered into the new Nerv organization, except for Dr. Naoko Akagi, who died the day before the reorganization.

Seele | Gehirn | United Nations | IPEA | JSSDF | Wille
Special Agency Nerv:
Nerv Headquarters | Nerv 1st Branch | Nerv 2nd Branch | Nerv 3rd Branch
Nerv 7th Branch (Tabgha Base) | Bethany Base | Golgotha Base