While inside the MRI, a client is asked to respond to a series of random questions presented on a monitor. Responses are typed on the keypad, and are recorded along with reaction times, and the questions.
Cephos provides comprehensive lie detection/truth verification services, using state-of-the-art technology that is unbiased and scientifically validated. We have offered expert testimony and have presented fMRI evidence in court.
There are two main types of lie detection techniques on the market: the polygraph machine, which has been around for nearly 100 years and proven to be inadmissible as court evidence, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
The polygraph measures and records several physiological responses such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration, breathing rhythms, body temperature and skin conductivity while the subject is asked and answers a series of questions. The theory behind polygraph use is that false answers will produce distinctive measurements. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1923 that the polygraph inadmissible because there is no scientific basis for its working. The National Academy of Sciences determined the polygraph is too unreliable for screening (read the article here).
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a type of specialized MRI scan that measures the changes in blood flow related to neural activity in the brain or spinal cord. Unlike the more common magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), fMRI uncovers the different parts of the brain people use when performing simple tasks. fMRI has been used to isolate motor activity regions in the brain, perceptual activity (auditory, visual, etc.) and cognitive activity resulting from complex thought processes.
This tool has had an enormous impact for cognitive neuroscientists, psychiatrists and psychologists as it provides a non-invasive glimpse into the brain's inner workings. Over the last ten years, researchers have published over 15,000 papers using this technology.
Backed by the scientific community, the U.S. Supreme Court has used fMRI to help determine when a criminal is a juvenile versus an adult. Since the early 1990s, fMRI has come to dominate the brain mapping field due to its relatively low invasiveness, absence of radiation exposure, and relatively wide availability.
The source of lying is in the brain – this is what Cephos measures with our truth verification brain imaging service using fMRI technology. We provide independent, scientific validation that someone is telling the truth.
As different tasks are performed, blood flows to different parts of the brain that are used for those tasks, similar to how blood flows to muscles in motion. The increase in blood flow results in an increase in the magnetic resonance signal, lasting 2-6 seconds. During this time, fMRI brain images or “snapshots” are captured in a magnetic scanner every 2-3 seconds while a subject performs a task or responds to stimuli.
The fMRI images are then used to detect unique brain activations using sophisticated computer algorithms. All "readings" are performed by computers; thus, no human interpretations are required.
The following animation illustrates what happens
in a subject's brain as they tap their fingers at intervals.
Arranging for fMRI Testing
Discreet, confidential testing takes less than one hour and actually detects the neural correlates of lying.
The results have been presented in a court of law.
Correspondence & Representations
Until we have a written statement that we represent you in a particular matter (an "engagement letter")
you should not send to us any confidential information about any such matter. After we have undertaken representation of you concerning a matter, you will be our client, and we may thereafter exchange confidential information freely.
Commercial Testing Process
Before your test, you, your attorney and a representative at Cephos will develop a set of questions composed of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers. These questions will relate to the accusation questions and your alibi questions and will also serve as baseline questions. The questions should be unambiguous and will be reviewed with you for clarity; any questions that do not have clear answers should be removed and replaced.
Day of Your Test
You are required to show up one hour before your scheduled MRI examination at Shields MRI at 14 Cochituate Road in Framingham, MA 01701-7915. At that time, Cephos will perform a urine drug screening test, a pregnancy test for female clients, and a mental and physical health examination. After completing these tests, you will practice answering the questions outside of the scanner on a computer. Once you complete these tests, you will have your fMRI examination. The total time for an examination is approximately15 minutes. You are allowed a short break, and then we will perform a second fMRI examination. After you complete three fMRI examinations, we will take a high-resolution scan of your brain.
The effects of medications on the brain are not known at this time. Therefore, Cephos requests that you stop taking any prescription and over-the-counter medications before your test. Before you stop taking any medications, however, you should consult with your healthcare professional. Daily multivitamins do not need to be discontinued.
MRI is an FDA-approved imaging modality. No die or injection is required for this test. However, numerous medical conditions may make MRI unsafe. Your Cephos representative will ask you about metal residue and other preexisting medical conditions. If you have any of these conditions, it may be unsafe for you to have this test.
Professional imaging personnel take a high-resolution scan of your brain that will be interpreted by a board-certified radiologist. Approximately 1-5% of subjects will have some abnormal finding. Most of these findings are of no significant consequence (e.g., a sinus disease). Any result that may adversely affect you will be disclosed to you.
A Cephos representative will present preliminary findings to you orally within a few business days after your test. At your request, Cephos will generate a report at no additional cost within two weeks of your examination. Also at your request, Cephos will turn over all testing materials, results, and questions to you, and will permanently remove your records from our facilities.
Cephos will testify on your behalf at trial. The cost of travel and expert testimony is an additional charge. Further, Dr. Andy Kozel and Dr. Mark George are independent experts and may be available for expert testimony.
According to Keckler in The Berkeley Electronic Press:
Cephos fMRI lie detection evidence is likely admissible in court because:
The U.S. Supreme Court has received at least one amicus brief based in part on brain scans in Roper v. Simmons to aid in the determination of when a person may be tried as an adult. Therefore, the Supreme Court and neuroscientists have supported the use of fMRI in real-world settings.
Independent law review articles support the admissibility of fMRI lie detection. The minimum requirements for admissibility of scientific evidence under the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, are likely met. Daubert criteria are listed below: