“No Lie MRI”
Feedthecrows asked me through a submitted question, “[I] have heard sociopaths are psychopaths that [haven’t] been caught, do you think that their brainwaves will catch them?” It’s a great question, and it starts to get at the ethics of MRI. Can we use MRI as a diagnostic tool for psychiatric disorders? Could we scan the brains of people and be able to tell if they are psychopaths by their brain images?
I would argue that we aren’t there yet. MRI is a great tool, and it helps us to see where in the brain different disorders might manifest (which could help develop treatments), but I don’t think MRI can diagnose disorders. It can merely observe them.
Along the same lines, can we use MRI to tell what people are really thinking and if they are telling the truth? I have attached an image from the homepage of No Lie MRI… which claims that MRI can be used as a lie detector test. I think theoretically, this is interesting. Brain regions involved in memories are different than those used in creating a story (or lie), BUT what if a person has told a lie so many times that they are pulling it from memory? Or what if the memory is so faint or so emotionally involved that it activates regions that we think would be involved in lying? I think that this raises a lot of ethical questions and quite frankly, as someone who does MRI research, I think we just simply are not there yet. But maybe in the future… who knows? Anything is possible.