The sentence of death row inmate Jimmy Ray Slaughter is being appealed, based on a new type of lie detector: the brain fingerprint.

Graham Inglis explains the process in Phenomena magazine. If you’re shown an image that you haven’t seen before, your brain stores it away as a new memory that can be detected on a brain scanner. If you HAVE seen it before, that reaction can also be “read.” Since if he’s never seen the crime scene, a suspect can’t be guilty of the crime, the suspect is shown crime scene images while investigators look at which parts of his brain light up. Just as in a conventional lineup of suspects, other images are mixed in with the crime scene photos while they flash by on a computer screen.
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It’s one of our worst nightmares: being awake during surgery. But anesthesia doesn’t work for everybody. The people this has happened to say the pain isn’t the worst part, although that can be excruciating. It’s the horror of being paralyzed and unable to talk to the surgeon, while being completely aware of what he’s doing to you. Some patients describe it as like being buried alive.

It’s not all that rare: it happens in about one out of every thousand operations. Rachel Nowak writes in New Scientist that a simple device called a BIS monitor can cut the number of these cases by 80%–but most anesthetists don’t use it because they underestimate the possibility of a patient remaining awake.
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Scientists believe they’ve found the reason why we suffer from jet lag: It’s because we have two timekeeping centers in our brains. One follows the clock, while the other one is influenced by natural events, such as sunrise and sunset. When we travel to another time zone, it takes a while for the two centers become coordinated again.

While scientists have discovered the existence of the two centers, they still don’t understand how they communicate with each other. If they did, they might be able to develop a drug that could “reset” our 24-hour inner clocks when we travel to a new time zone. Researcher Horacio de la Iglesia says, “If we can discover how the two parts of the brain are synchronized we might be able to find mechanisms to treat jet lag.”
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Why are some people so much smarter than the rest of us? One reason may be that they’ve learned how to use both sides of their brain at the same time. Scientists know that the left side of the brain is the problem-solving side, while the right side is more imaginative. But if you’re one of those rare people who can combine them, you can harness incredible brain power.

A recent study of teenagers who are above-average math students found that the right and left halves of their brains are better able to work together than the brains of average students. Psychologist Michael O’Boyle says, “Giftedness in math, music or art may be the by-product of a brain that has functionally organized itself in a different way.”
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