29-03-2022 | Research Article
Brain fingerprinting field study on major, terrorist crimes supports the brain fingerprinting scientific standards hypothesis: classification concealed information test with P300 and P300-MERMER succeeds; comparison CIT fails
Lawrence A. Farwell, Graham M. Richardson
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We conducted (I) 18 event-related potential (ERP) field tests to detect concealed information regarding major terrorist crimes and other real-world crimes and (II) 5 ERP tests regarding participation in a classified counterterrorism operation. This study is a test of the brain fingerprinting scientific standards hypothesis: that a specific set of methods for event-related potential (ERP) concealed information tests (CIT) known as the brain fingerprinting scientific standards provide the sufficient conditions to produce less than 1% error rate and greater than 95% median statistical confidence for individual determinations of whether the tested information is stored in each subject’s brain. All previous published results in all laboratories are compatible with this hypothesis. We recorded P300 and P300-MERMER ERP responses to visual text stimuli of three types: targets contain known information, irrelevants contain unknown/irrelevant information, and probes contain the situation-relevant information to be tested, known only to the perpetrator and investigators. Classification CIT produced significantly better results than comparison CIT, independent of classification criteria. Classification CIT had 0% error rate; comparison CIT had 6% error rate. As in previous studies, classification-CIT median statistical confidences were approximately 99%, whereas comparison CIT statistical confidences were no better than chance for information-absent (IA) subjects (who did not know the tested information). Over half of the comparison-CIT IA determinations were invalid due to a less-than-chance computed probability of being correct. Experiment (I) results for median statistical confidence: Classification CIT, IA subjects: 98.6%; information-present (IP) subjects (who know the tested information): 99.9%; comparison CIT, IA subjects: 48.7%; IP subjects: 99.5%. Experiment (II) results (Classification CIT): error rate 0%, median statistical confidence 96.6%. Countermeasures had no effect on the classification CIT. These results, like all previous results in our laboratory and all others, support the brain fingerprinting scientific standards hypothesis and indicate that the classification CIT is a necessary condition for a reliable, accurate, and valid brainwave-based CIT. The comparison CIT, by contrast, produces high error rates and IA statistical confidences no better than chance.