Some studies have reported the ability to detect lies, with a high degree of accuracy, by analyzing brain data acquired using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). But is this new technology ready for its day in court? This consensus knowledge brief from the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience takes a closer look at the potential and pitfalls of fMRI lie detection techniques, providing insight into the areas of the brain involved in lying, the impact of memory on deception, how countermeasures may foil our efforts to detect lies, and factors that can create cause for concern about experimental validity.
Anthony D. Wagner, Richard J. Bonnie, BJ Casey, Andre Davis, David L. Faigman, Morris B. Hoffman, Owen D. Jones, Read Montague, Stephen J. Morse, Marcus E. Raichle, Jennifer A. Richeson, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg, Kim Taylor-Thompson & Gideon Yaffe,
fMRI and Lie Detection,
MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience, 2016; Vanderbilt Law Research Paper No. 17-10
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/2015