An alarming new study (posted in full below) illustrates how fast neuroscience is developing in its attempt to uncover every aspect of the human brain. A specific brain wave called P300 has been identified by researchers as a marker that essentially encodes what we observe as we go about our daily activities. Based on this specific brain wave marker, researchers are able to conduct a Concealed Information Test. In fact, the test is already being used in Japan and Israel. Researchers are hoping that new data they have published will demonstrate that the test is reliable enough to meet the higher standard of U.S. courtrooms.
The massive influx of money into Obama’s BRAIN project, as well as similar research sponsored by the European Union , now exceeds $2 billion combined. Research continues full-steam ahead despite indications that human brain study is outpacing ethical parameters. Some scientists within the European arm of the project have recently threatened a boycott due to mismanagement and misuse along similar lines to what you will read below.
In our age of loosened constitutional standards and basic human rights that has permitted all innocent communications and movements to be tracked, traced and databased, any technology that aims to uncover our most mundane daily activities and thoughts must be heavily scrutinized for potential abuse. Moreover, I have highlighted some of the language in this press release that clearly demonstrates how this could move far beyond the courtroom and easily provide a new level of pervasive surveillance.
Bold emphasis is mine:
Brain activity can be used to tell whether someone recognizes details they encountered in normal, daily life, which may have implications for criminal investigations and use in courtrooms, new research shows.
The findings , published in Psychological Science , a journal of the Association for Psychological Science , suggest that a particular brain wave, known as P300 , could serve as a marker that identifies places, objects, or other details that a person has seen and recognizes from everyday life .
Research using EEG recordings of brain activity has shown that the P300 brain wave tends to be large when a person recognizes a meaningful item among a list of nonmeaningful items. Using P300, researchers can give a subject a test called the Concealed Information Test (CIT) to try to determine whether they recognize information that is related to a crime or other event.
Most studies investigating P300 and recognition have been conducted in lab settings that are far removed from the kinds of information a real witness or suspect might be exposed to. This new study marks an important advance , says lead research John B. Meixner of Northwestern University, because it draws on details from activities in participants’ normal, daily lives.