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Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) Brain Scans can spot Lies better than Polygraph Test

It has been demonstrated that when someone is lying, areas of the brain linked to decision-making are activated, which lights up on an fMRI scan for experts to see

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Polygraph test. Flickr
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New York, November 4, 2016: Scanning people’s brains with functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, is significantly more effective way to spot lies than a traditional polygraph test, a new research has found.

 The findings suggest that when it comes to lying, our brains are much more likely to give us away than sweaty palms or spikes in heart rate.
 
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Polygraph, the only physiological lie detector in worldwide use since it was introduced in its present form more than 50 years ago, monitors individuals’ electrical skin conductivity, heart rate, and respiration during a series of questions.

Polygraph is based on the assumption that incidents of lying are marked by upward or downward spikes in these measurements.

The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, found that neuroscience experts without prior experience in lie detection, using fMRI data, were 24 per cent more likely to detect deception than professional polygraph examiners reviewing polygraph recordings.

It has been demonstrated that when someone is lying, areas of the brain linked to decision-making are activated, which lights up on an fMRI scan for experts to see.

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“Polygraph measures reflect complex activity of the peripheral nervous system that is reduced to only a few parameters, while fMRI is looking at thousands of brain clusters with higher resolution in both space and time,” said the study’s lead author Daniel Langleben, Professor of Psychiatry at Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania in the US.

“While neither type of activity is unique to lying, we expected brain activity to be a more specific marker, and this is what I believe we found,” Langleben noted.

To compare the two technologies, 28 participants were given the so-called “Concealed Information Test” (CIT).

CIT is designed to determine whether a person has specific knowledge by asking carefully constructed questions, some of which have known answers, and looking for responses that are accompanied by spikes in physiological activity.

In the controlled comparison of the two technologies, the researchers found that fMRI spotted more lies.

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The approach adds scientific data to the long-standing debate about this technology and builds the case for more studies investigating its potential real-life applications, such as evidence in the criminal legal proceedings.

“While the jury remains out on whether fMRI will ever become a forensic tool, these data certainly justify further investigation of its potential,” Langleben added. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google, Facebook face greater scrutiny in Australia. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?