US military researchers are trying to figure out how to read your mind. Will this some day replace water boarding as an interrogation technique? Researchers have a $4 million grant which they will use to try to learn how to read brain signals, through electrodes placed on the scalp. They may even reach the point where a computer could “speak” the thoughts of the person being questioned.

But research is still in the initial stages. CNN quotes researcher Michael D?Zmura as saying, “To have a person think in a free manner and then figure out what that is, we’re years away from that.”

There may also be the problem of the enemy “thinking” lies, which could be even easier than trying to fool a conventional lie detector.

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Politicians lie all the time. We know our stomachs cannot tell a lie. Some people are natural born liars. New studies have shown that we cannot rely on polygraphs to weed out the liars among us, which is why they are not accepted as evidence in trials. Instead, we need to rely on the new technology of PET scans, which can catch liars 90% of the time.

Malcolm Ritter writes in that he recently tested this technology. While his brain was being scanned by a small machine, his computer asked him questions like, “Have you ever cheated on your taxes?”
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Rowan Scarborough writes in The Washington Times that captured Saddam Hussein loyalists in Iraq are able to beat lie-detector tests. This is frustrating our attempts to find hidden weapons and to learn what happened to Navy Capt. Michael Speicher, who has been missing since the Gulf War.

How do they do it? U.S. officials think that lying may have been so routine in Saddam?s government, that the lies don’t show up on a polygraph. It’s also known that Iraqi intelligence trained some people to “beat” the machine.
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People are bad at spotting liars because they look for the wrong signals. “People are really dreadful at detecting when someone is lying,” says Richard Wiseman, of the University of Hertfordshire in the U.K. “They think that liars avoid eye contact and fidget a lot. In fact, liars maintain more eye contact and they don’t fidget.

“What you should do is look to see if there are long pauses between the questions you ask and the answers people give,” he says. Other indicators include the use of short sentences, and any errors in the person’s speech. Lack of movement can also be a clue that the person is lying. Wiseman doesn?t think polygraph machines are accurate and says, “They detect when someone is stressed, not necessarily when they are lying.”
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