the corner office

a blog, by Colin Pretorius

The truth shall set you free

The stuff of science fiction?

Brain fingerprinting is supposed to assess the truthfulness of what a suspected criminal is saying by monitoring electrical "flashes" in the part of the brain associated with memory.

The suspect is shown words, images or objects of the crime scene or a weapon that only the police or the person who committed the crime would know about.

The implications of this could be pretty damned hectic...

{2004.07.25 23:49}


1. Richard (2004.07.26 - 17:10) #

How is it different from a traditional lie detector? Eventhough the sensors are more powerfull, the problem of interpretation and false positives (people who are innocent appearing guilty) wil still be there.

2. Stan Rogers (2004.07.26 - 19:52) #

From what I've seen in the studies, it's actually false negatives you have to worry about. To the proponents, it's as clear-cut as DNA, since it works well with people of conscience under experimental conditions -- but exposure to images similar to the test images can (apparently) change the trigger centres and register as "disturbing, but not recognised from this source". What lawyer wouldn't throw a stack of colour glossies to young Alex to viddie over a tall glass of moloko and some Ludwig Van and a laugh with his droogies, knowing that?

And it's nearly 100% beatable by actual sociopaths. You know, the ones who make the pretty pictures.

3. Colin (2004.07.27 - 01:08) #

Hmmm, yes, good points. The big question, then, is this: even though we're waaaay off now, if we accept that our brains are just 'lectrics and chemicals, then will the day eventually come when someone does manage to reverse engineer lying?

4. Colin (2004.07.27 - 01:15) #

(which is to say, I think one would need to be brave to say it won't ever happen... and if it does...)

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