fMRI Use in Corporate Crisis Management

In the future, will public relations firms use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as part of their crisis management arsenal? Start-up Cephos Corporation no doubt must hope so.

According to a news release issued by the Medical University of South Carolina, which conducted the groundbreaking study “Detecting Deception Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging” (abstract available from Biological Psychiatry here; full study available with free registration) in conjunction with Cephos and Department of Defense Polygraph Institute, researchers for the first time were able to distinguish truth-telling from deception within 61 individuals through the use of fMRI.  

In case you’re wondering why you should be interested, the study points out that:

“An accurate method to detect deception likely would have important implications for our society. Many legal, political, military, and industrial settings might benefit from an accurate method for detecting deception. Presently available technologies such as the polygraph and voice stress analysis lack rigorous scientific support.”

fMRI’s potential interest for attorneys is undeniable. The MUSC news release quotes criminal defense attorney extraordinaire Robert Shapiro as saying:

“I’d use it tomorrow in virtually every criminal and civil case on my desk. This technology will revolutionize how cases are handled by allowing the truth to prevail undeniably.”

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