Q: new lie-detektor?!?

Eric Wassermann ewass at helix.nih.gov
Thu Oct 21 14:09:04 EST 1993

In article <st000158.117.751222408 at hrz1.hrz.th-darmstadt.de>,
st000158 at hrz1.hrz.th-darmstadt.de (     ) wrote:
> do NOT respond to that email-address!
> hi everybody
> the weekly german "ZEIT" newspaper had have an interesting report 
> in the 12.august.93 issue. 
> it had been told that they had invented a new lie-detektor based on 
> an eeg device and it should work with special peaks counted 300ms 
> in delay after questions of interest.
> does anybody know more about it?
> is it allowed for the court?
> thanx
>    robert born
> please post answers in the newsgroup only!

Sounds like it relies on the so-called P300, a positive EEG wave that can
be averaged out about 300 ms following a novel stimulus.  Sounds like a
pretty poor technique for lie detection since it requires the averaging of
multiple trials and the response would habituate if the question were
repeated.   It would also be very hard to align the trials for averageing
on an event with as long and variable a duration as that required to
present and process a question.  It sure as hell isn't admissible evidence
in courts here.
                                      As far as I know,
Eric Wassermann                       The opinions expressed are not
Human Motor Control Section           those of the Federal Government,
NINDS, NIH                            the U.S. Public Health Service
                                      or the National Institutes of Health

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