MRI images could detect liars

Sept. 27, 2005 at 1:47 PM
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CHARLESTON, S.C., Sept. 27 (UPI) -- A Medical University of South Carolina study says with the right software an MRI machine could one day be used also as a lie detector.

Magnetic resonance imaging, which helps discover tumors and spinal-cord injuries, can map blood flow in the brain during moments of deception, the study says.

The findings could transform the court system as much as DNA testing has, experts say, reports the Charleston Post and Courier. They are published this week in the journal Biological Psychiatry.

The results were drawn from detailed images produced by functional MRI machines.

The study said using the new software, expected to be on the market by next year, detecting a liar would be as quick and easy as matching a suspect's fingerprints.

The study found functional MRI machines to be more than 90 percent accurate at detecting deception, compared to polygraphs, which range from 80 percent to "no better than chance" at finding the truth, the researchers said.

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