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]

See also[edit]


  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.