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Is The MRI Lie Detector Test Reliable?

Publication Date: 
November 03, 2008
Science Line
Christopher Intagliata

Professor Henry T. "Hank" Greely is quoted in Scienceline about the reliability of fMRIs as a tool for lie detection:

Legal scholars are both interested and alarmed by fMRI’s potential use in detecting liars. Henry Greely, a bioscience ethicist at Stanford University, thinks the technology “has the potential to really screw up people’s lives.” Some companies, he says, are touting the accuracy of their tests based on unrealistic scenarios. Greely mentioned one commonly cited study in which researchers asked 26 right-handed male undergraduate volunteers to lie about holding either the five of clubs or seven of spades. “How similar is that to telling the cops ‘No, I wasn’t there’ during a crime?” he asked. The study to which he refers was published in the journal Human Brain Mapping in 2005.