Examples of each of the four classes of detection of deception techniques are as follows: The polygraph, which is comprised of special sensors that measure autonomic and somatic activity when subjects are interviewed; this is commonly referred to as a lie detection machine (National Research Council, 2003). Observing brain function is the second class, which may involve the use of positron emission tomography (PET scans), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI or fMRI), or measuring electrical impulses in the brain through the use of an electroencephalogram (EEG). The third class is also observational, but requires watching or listening to voice, body movements, facial expressions and also word choices (National Research Council, 2003).

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The last class involves investigating individuals through such means as background checks, questionnaires and/or paper-and-pencil tests. It would appear that at present the most feasible and accurate class for detecting deception remains the polygraph, however researchers have found a great deal of promise in observing brain function, and also observing behaviors while analyzing voice and word choices.

It appears that advancements in technology continue to play a significant role in the detection of deception where currently ultra-high resolution brain imaging, similar to that of MRIs or fMRIs, is being touted as being on the next wave. Another form of imaging technology, magnetic particle imaging (MPI), is being explored but whether it is used in the detection of deception remains to be seen (Wolfe, 2015). MPI is said to be 100 times more sensitive at brain scanning than by using fMRIs. While not directly related to the detection of deception, over $1 billion will be spent over the next decade in order to better understand how the brain works. This is important because, at present, there is no way of identifying which region or regions of the brain are responsible for deception (Wolfe, 2015).

  • National Research Council (U.S.). (2003). The polygraph and lie detection. Retrieved from http://www.nap.edu/read/10420/chapter/1
  • Wolfe, E. (2015, July 22). Catching the brain in a lie: Is “mind reading” deception detection Sci-Fi—or science? Retrieved from http://alumni.berkeley.edu/california-magazine/just-in/2016-02-18/catching-brain-lie-mind-reading-deception-detection-sci-fi-or