Brain FingerPrinting by dG555Ce


									                                     BRAIN FINGERPRINTING


         Every science involves skill, judgment, or "art" on the part of its practitioners and the science
of Brain Fingerprinting testing is no exception. Every forensic science provides scientific data and
scientific conclusions for the use of non-scientist judges and juries, who evaluate these on a common-
sense and legal basis (i.e., a basis outside the realm of science) in reaching their conclusions regarding
the facts and the law of the case.

         Investigators' need for accurate, scientific means of linking perpetrators with crime scene
evidence has inspired some scientists to ask, "What does the criminal always take with him from the
crime scene that records his involvement in the crime?" The answer to this question, of course, is the
Brain.   The purpose of this document is to delineate the boundaries of the science of Brain
Fingerprinting, and specify what falls inside and outside those boundaries.

Index terms: - forensic science, multifaceted electroencephalographic response analysis, memory and
encoding related multifaceted electroencephalographic response, criminal investigation, brain waves.


         Forensic science is constantly evolving, from the discovery of the uniqueness of the human
fingerprint, to the ability to match a criminal to his crime through DNA profiling; technology continues to
provide investigators with new weapons. But fingerprint and DNA evidence are discovered in the only one
percent of all cases. When trusted techniques fail, investigators must turn to cutting-edge technology to
bring invisible clues to light.

         Every criminal leaves evidence behind. The key is to know how to find it. A new technique is
testing a way of tapping the suspect’s mind, to turn the criminal's own memory against him.

         Dr. Lawrence Farwell is the Chairman and Chief Scientist at Brain Fingerprinting Laboratories in
Seattle, Washington. He has developed a new computerized system known as brain fingerprinting. It
reads the memory centers of the human brain. He believes that Brain Fingerprinting will one day be used to
positively link perpetrators to their crimes.
         Brain Fingerprinting may seem similar to Polygraph (usually called a Lie Detector), but it differs
in important ways. A polygraph measures physiologic responses such as heart rate, sweating, breathing,
and other processes that are only indirectly related to brain function. Brain Fingerprinting information
comes directly from brain function. It and other related tests do not measure truthfulness but seek to
determine whether the subject has a particular memory.


         When someone commits a crime, his brain records (i.e.) it has a memory.
        Brain Fingerprinting seeks to reveal that memory, by showing the suspect
evidence taken from the crime scene. A head band with sensors is placed on the subject.A
series of pictures or words is flashed on the screen. The computer records the brain waves
produced in response to what the subject sees.The responses are recorded as a wave form.

        By analyzing the pattern of waves, Farwell can determine if the subject is
recognizing what he is seeing. So when you have a situation where a crime has been
committed, and there are certain details only the suspect with know, then we can test:
does this brain have these details stored in it? If so, then the suspect committed the crime.
If not, then not.

Brain Fingerprinting detects information stored in the human brain. Sensors on a
headband, register the subject's EEG, or brain wave responses to the computer images.
The EEG is fed through an amplifier and into a computer that uses proprietary software
to display and interpret the brain waves. A specific, electrical brain wave response,
known as a P300, is emitted by the brain within a fraction of a second when an individual
recognizes and processes an incoming stimulus that is significant or noteworthy. When
an irrelevant stimulus is seen, it is seen as being insignificant and not noteworthy and a
P300 is not emitted.

        In his research on the P300 response, Dr. Farwell discovered that the P300 was one aspect of a
larger brain-wave response that he named a MERMER (memory and encoding related multifaceted
electroencephalo-graphic response). MERMER comprises a P300 response, occurring 300 to 800 ms after
the stimulus, and additional patterns occurring more than 800 ms after the stimulus, providing even more
accurate results.
         Using multifaceted electroencephalographic response analysis (MERA), shows that a specific
multifaceted electroencephalographic response (MER), known as a memory and encoding related
multifaceted electroencephalographic response (MERMER), is elicited when a person recognizes and
processes a stimulus that is particularly noteworthy to him/her.

The MERMER includes: the P300, an electrically positive component maximal at the parietal scalp site,
longer latency, electrically negative subcomponent prominent at the frontal scalp site, and Phasic changes
in the frequency and structure of the signal.
Computer Controlled

     Information not present        Information present
The entire Brain Fingerprinting system is under computer control, including presentation of the stimuli,
recording of electrical brain activity, a mathematical data analysis algorithm that compares the responses to
the three types of stimuli (Target, Irrelevant, Probe), and produces a determination of "information present"
or "information absent," and a statistical confidence level for this determination.

         Three types of stimuli are presented: Targets, Irrelevant, and Probes. The Targets are made
relevant and noteworthy to all subjects, i.e., the subject is given a list of the Target stimuli and instructed to
press a particular button in response to Targets and another button in response to all other stimuli. Since
the relatively rare Targets are singled out in the task being performed, the Targets are noteworthy for the
subject, and each Target stimulus elicits a MERMER. Most of the non-Target stimuli are irrelevant, having
no relation to the situation under investigation. This Irrelevant do not elicit a MERMER.
          Some of the non-Target stimuli are relevant to the situation under investigation. These relevant
stimuli are referred to as Probes. For a subject who has participated in the situation in question, the Probes
are noteworthy due to the subject's knowledge of that situation, and, therefore, Probes elicit a MERMER
when the subject is knowledgeable. Probes are indistinguishable from the Irrelevant for a subject who is
not knowledgeable about the situation under investigation, and thus Probes do not elicit a MERMER if the
subject is not knowledgeable.
                                     Scalp recording was done with disposable EEG electrodes, similar to
those used in standard EEG recording. The electrodes were embedded in a special headband designed and
constructed by Dr. Farwell's Human Brain Research Laboratory.

1 Harrington’s Case
         In April 2000, Dr. Lawrence Farwell conducted a Brain Fingerprinting test on Harrington. Brain
responses showed conclusively that the record stored in Harrington’s brain did not match the crime scene
and did match his alibi, according to Dr. Farwell. The Brain Fingerprinting test results were the first new
evidence supporting Harrington’s claim of innocence in over 2

2 Dr. Richardson’s Comment
         Drew Richardson, PhD a senior agent of the FBI and a scientist in the FBI Laboratories for 26
years says "I was assigned to collaborate with Dr. Farwell in the research, design and laboratory testing of a
research study on Brain Fingerprinting technology. In our study, indeed in all the studies to date, Brain
Fingerprinting testing has proved to be 100% accurate, wherever a determination can be made. I estimate
that up to 70% of major crimes would someday be appropriate for applying Brain Fingerprinting

 [1] Helps to Catch a Serial Killer
Macon County, Missouri Sheriff Robert Daws on engaged Dr. Farwell to conduct a Brain fingerprinting
test on J. B. Grinder, who had been a suspect in an unsolved murder case for 15 years. The test results
showed that the record stored in his brain matched critical details of the crime scene that only the
perpetrator would know. Faced with an almost certain conviction and a probable death sentence, Grinder
pled guilty in exchange for life in prison without the possibility parole. He then also confessed to the
previously unsolved murders of three other women.

[2 ]National Security Applications
In a terrorist act, evidence such as fingerprints or DNA may not be available, but the brain of the
perpetrator is always there — planning, executing, and recording the crime. There are memories of the
crime stored in the brain of the perpetrator and in the brains of those who helped plan the crime. Brain
Fingerprinting Laboratories technology can detect these records stored in the brain and help identify trained
terrorists before they strike, including those that are in long-term “sleeper” cells. The technology will also
be used to improve security in areas like VISA applications and the protection of classified
Brain fingerprinting can be used to identify persons suffering from Alzheimers disease where a person
suffers from loss of memory.

Limitations of Brainfingerprinting:
[1] Brain fingerprinting detects information-processing brain responses that reveal what information is
stored in the subject’s brain. It does not detect how that information got there.
[2] If, however, the suspect knows everything that the investigators know about the crime for some
legitimate reason, then the test cannot be applied.

[3] Another situation where brain fingerprinting is not applicable is one where the authorities have no
information about what crime may have taken place. For example, an individual may disappear under
circumstances where a specific suspect had a strong motive to murder the individual.

          There are many different ways to present MERMER brain response data visually. Different
methods illustrate different features of the data.      No one method can adequately capture all of the
information incorporated in the data in a visually recognizable form. One method that is often effective in
providing a visual representation of the differences in brain responses involves plotting average responses
to Probe, Target, and Irrelevant stimuli as voltage over time at a specific scalp location.
         Figures 1 and 2 present the average brain responses to Probe, Target, and Irrelevant stimuli for two
of the subjects. Figure 1 presents data for a subject who is knowledgeable regarding the investigated event.
Figure 2 presents data for a subject who is not knowledgeable regarding the investigated event.
         These figures present plots of voltage over time at the parietal (Pz) scalp location. In these
figures, the MERMER appears as a positive voltage peak at approximately 500 msec followed by a
negative voltage deflection maximal at approximately 1200 - 1500 msec. (The latency of these deflections
varies according to the speed of the individual subjects' brain processing.)

         The brain responses of two subjects whose data are presented here are typical of their respective
groups, knowledgeable and not knowledgeable.             As can be clearly seen in the figures, for the
knowledgeable subjects (Figure 1) the MERMER is elicited in response to both Targets and Probes. For
the subjects who were not knowledgeable (Figure 2), the MERMER is elicited only in response to Targets.

                                   (Figure1) Information Present Brain Response
                                  (Figure 2) Information Absent Brain Response


The 100-percent accuracy and high confidence level of the results, however, provide further support for
results from previous research using brain MERMER testing.
         Today’s sophisticated crime scene analysis techniques can sometimes place the perpetrator at the
scene of the crime; however, physical evidence is not always present. Knowledge of numerous details of
the crime, such as the murder weapon, the specific position of the body, the amount of money stolen -- any
information not available to the public -- may reveal that a particular individual is associated with the
         Additionally, if research determines that brain MERMER testing is reliable enough that it could be
introduced as evidence in court; it may be the criminal investigative tool of the future.

   [1] Farwell LA, Donchin E. The brain detector: P300 in the detection of deception. Psychophysiology
   1986; 24:434

   [2] Farwell LA, inventor. Method and apparatus for multifaceted electroencephalographic response
   analysis (MERA). US patent 5,363,858. 1994 Nov 15

   [3] Farwell LA, inventor. Method and apparatus for truth detection. US patent 5,406,956. 1995 Apr 18

   [4]Harrington v. State, Case No. PCCV 073247. Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County,
   March 5, 2001.

To top