New ‘Brain Fingerprinting’ Could Help Solve Crimes

A technique called “brain fingerprinting,” which seeks to probe whether a suspect has specific knowledge of a crime, could become a powerful weapon in national security, its inventor believes.

Lawrence Farwell, a Harvard-educated neuroscientist who founded Brain Fingerprinting Laboratories Inc. 12 years ago and runs the company from a small town in southern Iowa, believes the technique could emerge as the next big thing in law enforcement and intelligence.

“From a scientific perspective, we can definitively say that brain fingerprinting could have substantial benefits in identifying terrorists or in exonerating people accused of being terrorists,” Farwell said.

But first the controversial technique, which has had some success, must overcome the skepticism of some experts who are reluctant to embrace it.

Brain fingerprinting works by measuring and analyzing split-second spikes in electrical activity in the brain when it responds to something it recognizes.

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