Brain fingerprinting

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Brain fingerprinting is a controversial, unproven[1] and questionable technique[2] invented by Lawrence Farwell which he says uses electroencephalography (EEG) to determine whether specific information is stored in a subject's brain. The technique consists of the measuring and recording a person's electrical brainwaves and their brain response.

Comparison of brain fingerprinting with polygraphy showed mixed results consistent with "a mix of proven techniques and dangerously exaggerated benefits".[1]

In 2001, brain fingerprinting was ruled as admissible for court use in Iowa by the decision in Harrington vs. State of Iowa.[3] It was also used in India,[4][5] until a 2010 Indian Supreme Court ruling. A. R. Lakshmanan, judge and past Chairman of the Law Commission of India, welcomed this ruling, describing brain fingerprinting as "so science-fictional that there were no takers anywhere else in the world".[6] In November 2015, Raksha Shakti University, Ahmedabad[7] collaborated with US firm Brainwave Science[8]and became the first institute in India to receive the brain fingerprinting technology. In June 2016, Times of India reported that Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was able to use it to solve a case using Brain Fingerprinting test, technology available at Raksha Shakti University (RSU) in Ahmedabad.[9] In June 2016 another report[10] published in The Indian Express stated Brain Fingerprinting technology used at Raksha Shakti University was utilized in cold case of a 25 year old woman from Kerala who went missing in Dubai. The Brain Fingerprinting test was conducted for Central Bureau of Investigation officials following the order of the Kerala High Court.

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  1. ^ a b Brandom, Russell (2015-02-02). "Is 'brain fingerprinting' a breakthrough or a sham?". The Verge. 
  2. ^ Rosenfeld, J. P. (2005). "Brain fingerprinting: A critical analysis" (PDF). Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice. 4 (1): 20–37. 
  3. ^ Harrington v. State, Case No. PCCV 073247. Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, March 5, 2001
  4. ^ "Deceiving the law". Nat Neurosci. 11 (11): 1231–1231. 1 November 2008. doi:10.1038/nn1108-1231 – via 
  5. ^ Giridharadas, Anand (2008-09-15). "India's use of brain scans in court dismays critics". New York Times. 
  6. ^ Lakshmanan, A.R. (July 9, 2010). "Welcome verdict but questionable rider". The Hindu. 
  7. ^ "Welcome to Raksha Shakti University". Retrieved 2018-04-05. 
  8. ^ "RSU collaborates with US firm for brain fingerprinting - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-04-05. 
  9. ^ "Brain fingerprint takes cops inside suspect's mind - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-04-05. 
  10. ^ "2005 missing woman case: Suspects taken to Gujarat for brain fingerprint". The Indian Express. 2016-06-23. Retrieved 2018-04-05.