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Could MRI brain scans prove you’re innocent?

| | October 23, 2017
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Lie detection using a functional MRI machine, which measures and creates an image of brain activity, is a topic of controversy among legal and neuroscience experts and has yet to land on the courtroom floor.

Daniel Langleben, out of the University of Pennsylvania, and Jonathan Hakun, of the Pennsylvania State University, are two that have run experiments using fMRIs for lie detection. The experiments suggest that the fMRI machines can detect lies, but this lie detection technique has not been properly tested outside of the lab, Langleben said.

Areas in the occipital lobes, which are toward the back of the brain, the parietal lobes, which are toward the middle of the brain, and the prefrontal cortex, at the front, will light up when someone tells a truth or lie. However, they show more activity for a lie, Hakun said. But the experiments use lies that are relatively simple, not something complicated like claiming innocence in a murder trial, Hakun said.

“For any kind of algorithm-based lie detection that could lead to conviction, for example, or acquittal, […] it should be an aid to conviction or acquittal, not the decider,” he said. “It should not take away the prerogative of judge and jury.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Could Brain Scans Determine Guilt or Innocence in Court?

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