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Brain imaging may reveal when a person tells lies

from the mind-reading dept.
According to a press release, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have found that telling a lie and telling the truth require different activities in the human brain, and this activity can be monitored using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The findings were presented on 13 November 2001 at the national meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego, CA. By identifying the brain activity associated with deception and denial, the work paves the way for improvements in lie-detection techniques. Additional coverage is available from the Washington Post (11 November 2001) and the New Scientist Magazine.

Regarding this item, RobVirkus writes "This story immediately brings to mind the book 'The Truth Machine' by James L. Halperin and may be of interest to Nanodot readers. Perhaps someday we will all be asked security questions before boarding any form of mass transportation. Why just scan for weapons when they can scan for intentions. Of course, that would not stop any unwilling and unknowing participants in diabolocal acts."

One Response to “Brain imaging may reveal when a person tells lies”

  1. Practical Transhuman Says:

    So much for the Fifth Amendment

    A mere "truth machine," as envisioned by Halperin in his novel, could be foiled by not talking. It's just a matter of time before applied neuroscience discovers a way to make people tell the truth, probably even giving them the illusion of doing so "voluntarily." It's so easy to see how such technologies could be misused by police states, such as the United States could become if we get sufficiently spooked about terrorism and internal dissent.

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