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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Paging Daubert. . . . Daubert, are you in the building?

Scientists claim that MRIs can be 90% accurate as lie detectors.  How fast before the technology is tested in court?

Posted by Hillel Levin on September 28, 2005 at 12:53 PM in Hillel Levin | Permalink

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Comments

I think we really need Bayes here... a 10% error rate might not be very good at all if most people tell the truth...

Posted by: Paul Gowder | Sep 28, 2005 1:15:27 PM

EN:

I think you misunderstood the post, and it is probably my fault for the wording of the post.

It isn't that they are 90% as reliable as POLYGRAPHS (which, according to the article, range from 80% accurate to "no better than chance"). It is that when MRIs are used to detect lies, they are supposedly 90% effective. The article notes that it doesn't work on some people. I certainly am in no position to judge this claim or the evidence. But this scientist is trying to provide real evidence that MRIs can detect lies. Precisely what you are asking for.

Posted by: Hillel Levin | Sep 28, 2005 1:08:12 PM

Hillel - did that claim (Yahoo news? What's the real source, I didn't stop to check) note that lie detectors are deemed to be sufficiently UNreliable that as a matter of legislative decision, many "lie-detector" tests are inadmissible in court? So, 90% as reliable as "unreliable" is not that good, in my book. But at least, unlike most polygraph machines, an MRI scan will be looking in the right place. Not the sweat glands, not the finger's pulse, not the breathing, but the brain. Even so, I'll believe it when I see falsifiable evidence that it can catch a liar at all, or determine truthfulness, at all. Even subjective truth and lies.

Posted by: Eh Nonymous | Sep 28, 2005 1:00:56 PM

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