Accreditation: This course is accredited by ASRT - an approved continuing education provider of ARRT.
Release Date: 1/1/2013
Expiration Date: 1/31/2019

The Potential Role of fMRI in Lie Detection

Shalisa Ladd BS, RT(R) and Jeff L. Berry MS, RT(R)(CT)

*Radiologic Technologist, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Assistant Professor, Radiography Program Director, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, College of Allied Health, Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Disclosure Statement: The authors report having no financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.


Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a relatively new form of imaging that is being used in a variety of promising ways, including brain mapping, cancer treatment mapping, and blood flow detection. In addition, recent research has used fMRI to identify which areas of the brain are responsible for lying and deception-in effect, using fMRI as a lie detector, a very interesting and unexpected use. There have been 2 court rulings on whether the utilization of fMRI as a lie detector could be admissible in court, based on many reasons and reports written to help improve this form of lie detection and make it acceptable for use in court. However, there are also many other reasons to be skeptical of this form of lie detection as legal evidence in court, including some ethical issues. The following article will discuss the development of the brain and the nervous system and the discovery and use of fMRI as a form of lie detection, as well as examine the legal and ethical implications and questions that have not yet been answered.

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