Lie detectors have been around for a long time, and have not always been acurate. We are at a technological turning point where we have the tools to look into the brain and tell conclusively if someone is lying. At Vanderbilt University neuroscientists are using FMRI to probe the inerworkings of the human brain, delving into reserch that will tell when you are lying or when you are in love.
The way FMRI works is by Measuring the flow of Oxygenated blood into areas of the brain showing the most activity, (neural activity). As blood flow to these areas increase the MRI machine can detect tiny differences in the magnetic properties of hemoglobin, (blood). All the data is reconstructed and the Radiologist can determine the area’s of the brain that are in use during the scan.
Darpa, the pentagon’s high-tech reserch department has been developing uses for FMRI. A recent article in the Cornell Law Review noted, “have developed technologies that may render the ‘dark art’ of interogation unneccessary”. This could lead to FMRI become a new Gold Standard for lie detecting . One company called NO-lie MRI is offering its FRMI based lie detecting services for $10,000 a scan. they have more than 100 potential clients that have expressed interest.
MRI may or may not be the solution, but as technology continues to progress we will see so many changes. MRI is like a new telescope into the mind and we are just starting to explore.We have so far to go.
|• Truth Machine||• Proof of Purchase||• Big Love|
|For many, establishing guilt or innocence is fMRI’s holy grail.
Study: Temple University
Protocol: Six graduate students were asked to fire a gun loaded with blanks, then lie about their actions. Five students who didn’t fire a gun were told to be truthful. Could fMRI scans reveal who was lying?
Results: Fourteen areas of the brain, including the anterior cingulate cortex (top yellow dot) and the hippocampus (bottom), were active when subjects lied; seven areas were active when subjects told the truth.
|One controversial use of fMRI is neuroeconomics —the study of mental and neural processes that drive economic decisions.
Study: Carnegie Mellon University, Stanford University, MIT Sloan School of Management
Protocol: Twenty-six adults were given $20 each to spend on consumer items. Could researchers predict intent to purchase based on brain regions registering activity?
Results: When areas of the brain associated with product preference and evaluation of gains and losses—the nucleus accumbens (right red dot) and the medial prefrontal cortex (left), respectively—were activated, the person bought a product. Accuracy rate: 60 percent.
|Love might be nothing more than a chemical reaction.
Study: State University of New York, Stony Brook; Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Rutgers University
Protocol: Researchers asked 17 young men and women to look at photos of the people they professed to love, then analyzed their brain activity in an fMRI scanner.
Results: Early stage romantic love is about motivation and reward, since it lights up subcortical reward regions like the right ventral tegmental area (top blue dot) and dorsal caudate area (bottom). Subjects in more extended romantic love showed more activity in the ventral pallidum (middle), which indicates attachment, in prairie voles—and, scientists surmise, in humans.
|• The Oops Factor||• Better to Give|
|What happens when you make a costly mistake?
Study: University of Michigan
Protocol: Scientists asked 12 adults to complete 360 visually based tests that carried monetary rewards and penalties between 25 cents and $2.
Results: When subjects made errors with consequences—in this case, losing money—the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC, orange dot) was much more active. It was less active when mistakes carried no penalty. The rACC’s involvement suggests the importance of emotions in making decisions.
|Does our brain think paying taxes is actually satisfying?
Study: University of Oregon
Protocol: Scientists gave 19 women $100 each, then scanned their brains as they watched their money go to a charity, via mandatory taxation and voluntary contribution.
Results: The caudate nucleus (right green dot) and nucleus accumbens (left), the same regions that fire when basic needs like hunger and social contact are met, were activated when subjects saw some of their tax money go to charity; activity was even greater when they gave money of their own accord. Scientists cite this as tentative proof of altruism.