Brain fingerprinting: Microelectronics and medical imaging bring us closer to acheiving mind reading and banishing blindness

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Inmate performs a brain fingerprinting examination. Credit: Mental Floss
Inmate performs a brain fingerprinting examination. Credit: Mental Floss

Coupled with powerful microelectronics, science’s understanding of the brain is opening the door to new ways of handling criminal investigations and screening potential employees. Several recent applications involve variants of the “guilty knowledge” test, in which investigators try to determine the presence or absence of specific memories implying a person’s guilt by recording electric signals from the head.

Brain fingerprinting may seem similar to a polygraph (usually called a lie detector), but it differs in important ways. A polygraph measures physiologic responses such as heart rate, sweating, breathing, and other processes that are only indirectly related to brain function. Brain fingerprinting’s information comes directly from brain function. It and other related tests do not measure truthfulness, but seek to determine whether the subject has a particular memory.

Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Cochlear implants aroused great controversy in the deaf community for reasons unforeseen by the engineers, physiologists, and physicians who developed them. Retinal prostheses, brain-controlled robots, and similar devices have the potential to improve the lives of the people who receive them, but these technologies will certainly bring negative consequences that we cannot clearly foresee. Even if we can never fully anticipate the impact of employing these technologies, it is important to try.

This is an excerpt. Read the original post here.

Related article:  Should you disclose your autism diagnosis at work?
Outbreak Featured
Infographic: Growing human embryos — How long should researchers watch human development play out in a dish?

Infographic: Growing human embryos — How long should researchers watch human development play out in a dish?

In May, the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) released new guidelines that relaxed the 14-day rule, taking away ...
Are GMOs and pesticides threatening bees?

Are GMOs and pesticides threatening bees?

First introduced in 1995, neonicotinoids ...
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists
glp menu logo outlined

Get news on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.