Brain Fingerprinting: Science or Quackery?

Jeffrey.Peter at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk Jeffrey.Peter at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk
Sun Dec 10 22:06:18 EST 2000


In article <3A342451.E5322A0 at bellatlantic.net>,
  jtnews <jtnews at bellatlantic.net> wrote:
> Anyone watch 60 Minutes tonight on Brain Fingerprinting?
>
> What do you think of the technology?  Is it real science
> or quackery?
>
> Should such evidence be used in court?
>
> How can it be abused?
>
> Can you ever get a false positive? False negative? How?
>
I have not seen the 60 minutes episode. However, I have read a little
about it. If I am not mistaken, all the technology shows is that the
person has a certain memory encoded in his brain. However, there is no
way to determine if the memory is correct or where it came from. So, if
I were accused of say killing someone on the way home from work at a
particular bar which I do not frequent, the test would try to show that
I had a memory of the bar. Perhaps I visited the bar while I was under
investigation. The test could come up positive, because I was in the
bar. Plus I might have memories about the murder from reading about it
in the papers, seeing it on TV and questions from the Police.

I think the test definitely needs much more validation before using it
in court.

Jeff Utz


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