2006-02-10

Deception detection

An article by AP/Yahoo examines a few of the issues involved in using fMRI for lie detection not often addressed.

"What's really scary is if we start implementing this before we know how accurate it really is," Greely said.

No Lie MRI Inc. will provide neuroimaging lie detection in Philadelphia starting in July, but it seems premature when so many questions about its applications and effectiveness remain.

What are the implications of false memories? Implanted memories? Lost memories? Functional and structural differences in pathological liars? Drugs that affect the memory? Aging deficits and neurodegenerative diseases?

In the US judges cautioned against the use of fMRIs on the grounds that they may be more effective than juries and usurp their role. Before the legal system embraces such a grand promise of technology, perhaps it should dig deeper for the truth.

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