I just read an interesting book entitled "Mind Catcher" by John Darnton. It's a far out look at possible consciousness experiments using machines to provide pathways for the mind...It looks at the mind as separate from the body, and age old controversy. As "Anima" the author proposes that the mind can be separated from the body and that it can travel in a different dimension or medium that may exist on a subatomic level. He suggests that we may be able to provide portals for such transfer. Darnton was inspired to write the book by a personal experience of his mother's. His father was killed in the war and at them moment of his father's death, he appeared before the mother to say goodbye. He remembers this from his childhood.
It would be interesting if such a thing were possible and consciousness could be transferred into a virtual human carcus.