You may want to read the novel before the technology actually happens. If so, you may need to start this year!
Brain fingerprinting works by flashing words or pictures relevant to a crime on a computer screen along with other, irrelevant, words or pictures. When a person recognizes information, specific electrical brain impulses that Farwell calls memory and encoding related multifaceted electroencephalographic responses (MERMERS) are involuntarily elicited. MERMERS are measured using a headband equipped with sensors. When details of a crime that only the perpetrator and investigators would know are presented, the perpetrator�s brain emits a MERMER, but the brain of an innocent person does not.
Farwell claims that his MERMER device has been 100 percent accurate in tests. For example, in one test he was able to correctly identify 17 FBI agents out of 21 people tested.
However, Farwell�s work is by no means universally accepted by academic researchers. J. Peter Rosenfeld, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University, believes that Farwell claims far too much for his MERMER technique.
"I simply don�t believe that he is getting 100 percent correct results on his tests," Rosenfeld says. Rosenfeld himself gets about an 80 percent correct identification rate from similar brainwave studies. Rosenfeld is also pursuing another line of research aimed at identifying the physical correlates in the brain that correspond to a person�s awareness that he is lying. This research goes beyond identifying whether or not a person has specific knowledge. Asked if he thought that current brain research on detecting deception would lead to ways to determine accurately whether a person is lying or not, Rosenfeld replied: "Absolutely. Within 10 years, maybe even five." (A Truth Machine, ReasonOnline, via klw)