I don't know how many people have played the Old World Blues DLC for Fallout: New Vegas, so here's a quick summary: The player character finds a crashed satellite in the ruins of a drive-in theater, projecting an ominous eye onto the theater's old screen. The satellite teleports them to the prewar research labs of Big Mountain (Otherwise known as the Big Empty) where a bunch of mad scientists remove their brain. The rest of the DLC revolves around trying to get it back.
But none of that is important right now. What IS important, is that a lot of offhand references are made by the scientists to a concept called 'brainial beam oscillation' (Which they stole from the Chinese). It's never explained what it is, or what it does, beyond that it has something to do with brains, and implying that it can somehow prevent people from thinking to put a slash through zeroes to differentiate them from the letter 'o'.
Overall, it was likely intended as a gag about the cheesy technobabble of the kind of fifties B-movies that the rest of OWB pays omage to. Except that it may actually be a real thing:
That link leads to a Cracked article about lasers. Number one on the list is how they can be used for mind control. Specifically, by engineering neurons with light sensitive proteins, so that they can be activated by precise laser bursts. Researchers have apparently already used lasers to do such things as remotely control worms, and to beam bad memories into flies. And it isn't just invertebrates that this works on. The techniques involved have also been adapted for macaques and it's being worked on for -humans- as well.
Now there are some pretty awesome applications for this kind of thing: new methods of treatment for neurological and psychological disorders, man-machine interfaces, and, yes, mind control. But reading about what's already been done (going back to the flies and worms here), it puts me in mind of the (admittedly vague) effects that brainial beam oscillation is mentioned as being able to have on humans. Now, I don't think this science as a whole has a name yet (optogenetics seems to refer specifically to the genetic engineering aspect needed to make neurons susceptible to laser triggering) but it sounds like a good candidate for making brainial beam oscillation into a REAL THING, and I am all for naming these techniques after a joke from Fallout.
Basically, I think this is basically what the scientists of Big MT. are talking about when they mention brainial beams. (Though I also like to think they figured out how to make a beam that didn't require genetically engineered neurons to be used in conjunction with it.)