Brain-Mapping Test & It’s Uses in Crime Detection

It’s also known as the P300 waves test or Brain Finger Printing or Brain Electrical Oscillation Signature Profiling Test

It is a method of determining if a person is friendly with given knowledge by measuring brain activity in response to selected stimuli. This is a non-invasive test.

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science in the United States began evaluating the importance of integrating neuroscientific information from MRI, EEG, positron emission tomography (PET), and other non-invasive scanning techniques to map anatomy, psychology, perfusion, function, and phenotypes of the human brain in the late 1980s. Brain mapping was initiated in order to research memory, learning, ageing, and pharmacological effects, particularly in schizophrenics, autistics, and sad persons. As a result, the human brain project was started, and eventually an international consortium for brain mapping emerged.

This approach is now also employed in criminal detection. It is founded on the idea that the investigator wants to determine if the individual has recollections regarding the case by providing visuals and words related with it.

When a subject is presented an image or words related to the case, a P300 wave is produced (the name is so given because the wave is generated 300 millisecond after the images or words are shown). This P300 wave is observable. Lawrence Farwell of the United States of America patented this test in 2001.

The individual is forced to sit in a chair, and a band with six to seven neurosensors is affixed to his or her wrist. First, the control trials are carried out. The patient is next presented images, statements, or occurrences relating to the case, and his reactions are recorded. P300 wave is formed if a person has viewed these images. The test normally lasts 5-6 hours.

To prevent inconsistencies caused by weather conditions, the test must be done in an air-conditioned and insulated room.

The court’s permission is not required. The results are not admissible in court, but they can help investigating agencies solve the case.

Disadvantages of Brain-Mapping Techniques

The main disadvantage of this test is that it is entirely dependent on the subject’s familiarity with the crime scene or any related information, which can be present in a person’s mind due to exposure to pictures and videos through media or by looking at or reading such things in newspapers, magazines, etc., or he may have been a mere bystander when the crime occurred. As a result, the test cannot conclude that if the person has any awareness of such triggers, he must be connected to the crime.

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