Brain Waves Can Reveal 'guilty Knowledge'

EVANSTON, Ill., July 30 (UPI) — The brain waves of people holding “guilty knowledge” could someday be used to see “inside” the minds of terrorists planning attacks, researchers say.

A Northwestern University study of a group of subjects — including some “make believe” terrorists with knowledge of an upcoming terrorist “act” — was able to confirm, through measurements of brain waves, which of the subjects were in possession of “culpable” knowledge of the intended action, a university release said Friday.


The test measured P300 brain activity, electrical patterns in the cortex, to identify which subjects had knowledge of the plan, the release said.

Those patterns occur, researchers said, when meaningful information is presented to a person with “guilty knowledge.”

“Without any prior knowledge of the planned crime in our mock terrorism scenarios, we were able to identify 10 out of 12 terrorists and, among them, 20 out of 30 crime-related details,” J. Peter Rosenfeld, professor of psychology at Northwestern, said.

“The test was 83 percent accurate in predicting concealed knowledge, suggesting that our complex protocol could identify future terrorist activity,” he said.

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