Emerging Neurotechnologies for Lie-Detection: Promises and Perils

American Journal of Bioethics 10 (10):40-48 (2010)
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Detection of deception and confirmation of truth telling with conventional polygraphy raised a host of technical and ethical issues. Recently, newer methods of recording electromagnetic signals from the brain show promise in permitting the detection of deception or truth telling. Some are even being promoted as more accurate than conventional polygraphy. While the new technologies raise issues of personal privacy, acceptable forensic application, and other social issues, the focus of this paper is the technical limitations of the developing technology. Those limitations include the measurement validity of the new technologies, which remains largely unknown. Another set of questions pertains to the psychological paradigms used to model or constrain the target behavior. Finally, there is little standardization in the field, and the vulnerability of the techniques to countermeasures is unknown. Premature application of these technologies outside of research settings should be resisted, and the social conversation about the appropriate parameters of its civil, forensic, and security use should begin



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Paul Wolpe
Emory University

References found in this work

A cognitive neurobiological account of deception: evidence from functional neuroimaging.Sean Spence - 2006 - In Semir Zeki & Oliver Goodenough (eds.), Law and the Brain. Oxford University Press.
Neuroethics.P. R. Wolpe - forthcoming - Encyclopedia of Bioethics.
Emerging ethical issues in neuroscience.Martha Farah - 2001 - Nature Neuroscience 5:1123 - 1129.

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