Dr. Larry Farwell – Brain Fingerprinting Field Studies at the FBI, the CIA, and in Detecting Bomb Makers:
Recent Peer-Reviewed Publications
Dr. Larry Farwell – Scientific Research
on Farwell Brain Fingerprinting
Dr. Farwell and his colleagues Dr. Drew Richardson and Graham Richardson recently published four Brain Fingerprinting field/real life studies in the leading journal Cognitive Neurodynamics. The first of these studies was one of a series of three studies that Dr. Farwell and colleagues conducted for the CIA. The second study was a field study where Dr. Farwell used Brain Fingerprinting to detect information about real crimes stored in the brains of perpetrators and innocent suspects.
Dr. Farwell and Dr. Richardson conducted the third study at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Dr. Richardson was a supervisory special agent at the FBI at the time. Dr. Richardson is the former chief of the FBI’s chem-bio-nuclear counterterrorism unit and a leading expert on counterterrorism. In the fourth study, Dr. Farwell and colleagues used Brain Fingerprinting to detect information known only to bomb makers, stored in the brains of people with experise in bomb making (IED/EOD).
In all four studies Dr. Farwell and colleagues used Brain Fingerprinting to detect information obtained in the course of real-life events. Studies 1 and 2 used specific issue Brain Fingerprinting tests to detect specific issue information regarding real-life events, including capital crimes. Studies 3 and 4 used specific screening Brain Fingerprinting tests to detect real-life specific group knowledge of FBI agents and experts in bomb making, i.e., explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
In Study 1, the “CIA Real-life Study,” Brain Fingerprinting was used to detect concealed information regarding real-life events, including a number of felony crimes. There were, however, no significant consequences of the outcome of the tests, and consequently no substantial motivations for subjects.
In Study 2, the “Real Crime Real Consequences $100,000 Reward Study,” Brain Fingerprinting was used to detect information regarding real crimes. In some cases, the subjects were highly motivated because they were facing either the death penalty or life imprisonment, and the Brain Fingerprinting test detected presence or absence of information regarding the crime in question. In some cases. subjects were inherently motivated because the Brain Fingerprinting tests potentially could influence the judicial outcome of the case, e.g., cases where Brain Fingerprinting presented as evidence in the case and ruled admissible in court. In cases where there was less inherent motivation resulting from a potential judicial outcome, subjects were offered a $100,000 reward for beating the test. Except in cases where life and freedom were at stake, subjects were taught countermeasures that have previously proved effective against other, fundamentally different, non-Brain Fingerprinting techniques. Countermeasures had no effect on Brain Fingerprinting.
In Study 3, the “FBI Agent Study,” Brain Fingerprinting was used to detect information that is known to FBI agents but not to the general public, such as FBI techniques, procedures, acronyms, information learned in FBI training, etc.
In Study 4, the “Bomb Maker Study,” Brain Fingerprinting was used to detect information that is known to explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and improvised explosive device (IED) experts but not to the general public.
In all four studies, Brain Fingerprinting returned the correct result in every case. Error rate was 0%; accuracy rate was 100%. In order to present a conservative result, however, and to avoid the mathematical anomalies of 0% and 100%, Dr. Farwell and colleagues reported the error rate as “less than 1%” and the accuracy rate as “over 99%.” Brain Fingerprinting also produced a high statistical confidence in every individual case. Median statistical confidence was over 99%.
These four studies are reported in the following peer-reviewed scientific article in the leading scientific journal Cognitive Neurodynamics.
Farwell, L.A., Richardson, D.C., and Richardson, G.M. (2012). Brain fingerprinting field studies comparing P300-MERMER and P300 brainwave responses in the detection of concealed information. DOI 10.1007/s11571-012-9230-0, Cogn Neurodyn (PDF); (Cognitive Neurodynamics)
Dr. Farwell also recently published a comprehensive tutorial review of all Brain Fingerprinting research to date, and all other research on detection of concealed information using brainwaves. Here is the peer-reviewed article:
Farwell, L.A. (2012). Brain fingerprinting: a comprehensive tutorial review of detection of concealed information with event-related brain potentials, Cognitive Neurodynamics 6:115-154, DOI 10.1007/s11571-012-9192-2.
For Dr. Farwell’s additional peer-reviewed publications on Brain Fingerprinting and other scientific topics see: