Emerging neurotechnologies for lie-detection: Promises and perils

Paul Root Wolpe, Kenneth R. Foster, Daniel D. Langleben

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


Detection of deception and confirmation of truth telling with conventional polygraphy raised a host of technical and ethical issues. Recently, newer methods of recording electromagnetic signals from the brain show promise in permitting the detection of deception or truth telling. Some are even being promoted as more accurate than conventional polygraphy. While the new technologies raise issues of personal privacy, acceptable forensic application, and other social issues, the focus of this paper is the technical limitations of the developing technology. Those limitations include the measurement validity of the new technologies, which remains largely unknown. Another set of questions pertains to the psychological paradigms used to model or constrain the target behavior. Finally, there is little standardization in the field, and the vulnerability of the techniques to countermeasures is unknown. Premature application of these technologies outside of research settings should be resisted, and the social conversation about the appropriate parameters of its civil, forensic, and security use should begin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-49
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Bioethics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy


  • Brain Imaging
  • Lie Detection
  • Neuroethics
  • Privacy and confidentiality


Dive into the research topics of 'Emerging neurotechnologies for lie-detection: Promises and perils'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this