Admission of fMRI Lie Detector “Evidence” Sought

Alexis Madrigal writes for Wired.com about what is reportedly the first attempt to have fMRI lie detector results admitted in court:

Defense attorneys are for the first time submitting a controversial next-generation lie-detection test as evidence in criminal court.

In an upcoming juvenile-sex-abuse case in San Diego, the defense is hoping to get an fMRI scan, which shows brain activity based on oxygen levels, admitted to prove the abuse didn’t happen.

The technology is used widely in brain research, but hasn’t been fully tested as a lie-detection method. To be admitted into court, any technique has to be “generally accepted” within the scientific community.

The company that did the brain scan, No Lie MRI, claims their test is over 90 percent accurate, but some scientists and lawyers are skeptical.

“The studies so far have been very interesting. I think they deserve further research. But the technology is very new, with very little research support, and no studies done in realistic situations,” Hank Greely, the head of the Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford, wrote in an e-mail to Wired.com.

See MRI Lie Detection to Get First Day in Court for the rest of the story.