Duped: Brain scan lie detection

There’s been quite a bit in the news recently about ‘brain scan lie detection’, but The New Yorker magazine have just published possibly the best article I’ve read so far on this intriguing but still-not-very-accurate technology.

It not only looks at the current technology, but also explores the dubious history of lie detection technology from times past.

The article is also remarkably well researched and level-headed, a balance that many stories about the technology sorely lack.

It points out some of the drawbacks of the technology, and some of frankly bizarre pitches being made by commercial companies.

One company recommends brain scans to help with “risk reduction in dating” and “trust issues in interpersonal relationships”!

Don’t get me wrong, people with brain scanners are sexy, but as with many things in life, it’s not what you have but what you do with it. Being shoved in a ‘fMRI lie detector’ by a potential lover would be a definite turn off.

The article is delightfully wide-ranging and talks to plenty of senior psychologists about their views on the technology and why we’re so attracted to brain scan evidence despite its drawbacks.

Really, an excellent piece. Well done New Yorker.

Link to New Yorker article ‘Duped: Can brain scans uncover lies?’.

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