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We don’t have a mind-reading machine yet, but that’s not to say we don’t have the technology to create one.

The technique of functional MRI (fMRI), which measure changes in localized brain activity over time, can now be used to infer information regarding who we are thinking about, what we have seen and the memories we are recalling. As the technology for inferring thought from brain activity continues to improve, the legal questions regarding its potential application in criminal and civil trials are gaining greater attention.

Last year, a Maryland man on trial for murdering his roommate tried to introduce results from an fMRI-based lie detection test to bolster his claim that the death was a suicide. The court ruled the test results inadmissible, noting that the “fMRI lie detection method of testing is not yet accepted in the scientific community.” In a decision last year to exclude fMRI lie detection test results submitted by a defendant in a different case, the Sixth Circuit was even more skeptical, writing that “there are concerns with not only whether fMRI lie detection of ‘real lies’ has been tested but whether it Read more…

More about Government, Big Brother, Mind, Thought, and Brain

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