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  • Using fMRI as a Lie Detector – Are We Lying to Ourselves?

    At this moment, the technology exists to read your mind. If you are like most people, this may come as a shocking concept, but it is a true statement, in a manner of speaking. Specifically, several companies and academics are researching technologies that will read the activity of your brain and attempt to correlate this with deception. While the potential benefits of this technology are obvious to the legal profession, it also raises several thorny ethical and moral questions. Among these are: what are the privacy implications of such a technology, and does the social benefit that might result from the use of this technology justify what could arguably be the most intimate invasion of personal integrity possible? While wrestling with these and other issues, one must note that the technologies being developed as lie detectors are not one hundred percent accurate. The question becomes: how should the data from these tests be used in light of the fact that they are not one hundred percent accurate? These technologies all assume that brain activity correlates with actual thought, but our current knowledge is insufficient to know this for certain. As a result, brain imaging technologies must be critically examined before they become an accepted means of determining truth from lie.

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