Brain-imaging lie-detection technology

Neuroethics is the ethics of neuroscience (and vice versa) that involves the matters that deal with the subclass of bioethics. According to Farah (234), these are elements such as the element of mind control using the pharmaceutical substances; they are used as determinants as to whether or not to give the mind-altering drugs to a person who is suffering from autism, with the aim of making them normal (Barnbaum 21). The ethics of performing brain surgery require the use of such drugs especially in the case of performing an anterior commissurotomy to control epilepsy. Farah goes on to reiterate that, brain surgery requires a considerable amount of focus on the consequences of the surgery. Neuroethics deals with cases, such as a politician using brainwashing techniques to send troops to war, or the ethics of writing a speech to control a crowd. The subject of the neuroscience looks into the morals development of children, and how the mind evolves due to the influences as the child develops; as well as the modern theories of free will that develop from the evolving theories and molecular biology (Weiner 19). It is perceived that Neuroethics addresses the effects of neuroscience and Neurotechnology will have on other aspects of human life; mainly the personal responsibility, law and justice. There is an assumption that the neurological problem will become more real prior to 2020. Neuroscience allows individuals to explain, predict and even be able to control the human behavior. The ethical issues that unfold form such developments extend past the boundaries of conventional bioethics into philosophy of the mind, theology, psychology, theology, public policy as well as the law. This wide range of concerns is the basis of the Neuroethics. Farah

provides the reader with the issues that address Neuroethics that are classified in the scientific and cultural context and present a carefully selected set of articles, essays, extracts that explore specific problems in Neuroethics from the perspectives of diverse and established authors. The book includes opinions and views provided by various philosophers, scientists and legal scholars such as Carl Elliot, Joshua Greene, Steve Hyman, Elizabeth Phelps and Peter Kramer. The book deals with the ethical issues of cognitive enhancement as well as the dilemmas of personality, identity and memory retention (Farah 321). She also addresses the matter of the ability of brain imaging to both persuade and reveal, and the legal implications of the neuroscience. Neuroscience is established as the significant guide to the challenging and socially essential issues at the level of neuroscience and society. Farah (278) clearly illustrates the readings and the issues that are the basis for the subject of Neuroscience. She uses a range of questions that make the book appealable even in the use of learning in an education context. The book explores the factors that can be related to the lie detector technology. The technology is based on the factor of determining the truth in the facts that are being explained by an individual going through a lie-detector test. The technology is used to analyze the various brain reactions to questions and images (Weiner 25). The technology is aimed at extracting the real response any of the questions and images; to determine if the utter words match the brain thoughts. However, in the recent developments of the Neuroethics, there may some factors that can determine that the brain-lie detector may be used to alter the answers of the individual going

through the lie detector test. Recent developments have proven that the brain-lie detector technology provides a better sense of truth compared to the usage of polygraph test; this is because individuals have learnt how modify their body activity so as to provide a sense of truth, but a lie in the fact. Evoked related potentials (ERP) and brain blood flow have also been used in the study of deception. Critical components of a brain-behavior correlation study include a symptom provocation paradigm, closely following the definition of behavior in question, as well as measurement techniques, such as skin conductance, electrical brain activity or a functional map of cerebral metabolism or blood flow (Littlefield 137). However, in the developments of the technology, even though there are major advancements in the lie detection technology, individuals are constantly developing means and ways to ‘beat the system. Therefore, the lie detection technologies may be developed in improving on the shortcomings of the earlier versions; but this has also meant that individuals are also modifying means and ways to counter the improvements on the newly developed liedetectors. The major element of the lie-detection may be fairly null and void as individuals are constantly developing ways in which they can defy the element of science; by providing false information. With the polygraph tests, individuals have found ways of controlling their emotional reactions and blood flow to deceive the tests; which is an indication that the liedetection is becoming pointless. (Farah 174) With the new technologies that include analysis of the brain provide a better analysis of the level of truth in an individual’s information; as it provides an analysis of the individual’s

mental reaction and general perception of various elements and information. The technology may prove to be productive in the field of lie detection, as it analyses the brain and not the various changes in the blood flow in the individual. However, there are some drawbacks to the system. When I think of the system I think of people who may be claustrophobic. The liedetections tests require individuals to be in a machine that can cause a sense of claustrophobia (fear of closed places). This can be used as an excuse not to use the machine; which can result in using a less restrictive machine like a polygraph; which can be manipulated to the benefit of the individual taking the test. Therefore, the use of the brain-lie detection is not ideal for everyone, especially for those who are claustrophobic. the fact that the individuals have already established ways and means of being able to ‘cheat/lie in a polygraph test’, indicates that the individuals will manage to alter their reactions to the new technology that is being used in lie detection. This is an indication that it will become harder to determine whether an individual is lying or not. I find that there is no substantial indication that the lie detectors will ever become reliable sources of accurate information. This means that in the case of law enforcers using these tests to capture law-breakers, it will be difficult to establish the truth as to the information they obtain from suspects as they be trained to ‘lie to the lie-detectors’; which means that their information may be useless to any significant investigation by the law enforcers. The new technologies being used as lie detectors may work at the time of their inception, but in the long-run may prove to be inefficient; as individuals will have found ways and means to deceive the lie detectors.

In conclusion, the Neuroethics has proven to be a breakthrough in exploring the finer elements of using drugs to control the human brain, and even alter the thinking of an individual; by using drugs This progress in the establishment of such a phenomenon has led us to believe that there is a possibility that people can become deceptive to the lie detector instruments that are currently used in court cases, or even general testing. A person with an understanding of the neuroscience of ethics can cheat his way past a lie detector; which implies that lie detectors may be null and void.

Works Cited: Barnbaum, Deborah. The Ethics of Autism: Among Them, but not of Them, Bloomington, IN:

Farah, Martha J. Neuroethics: An Introduction with Readings. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2010. Print. Littlefield, Melissa M. The Lying Brain: Lie Detection in Science and Science Fiction. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2011. Print. Weiner, Jonathan Time, Love, Memory: A Great Biologist and His Quest for the Origins of His Behavior. Vancouver, WA: Vintage Books, 1999. Print.

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