brain scans to eliminate tells?

Addresses new and interesting links to other sites (not listed on the Genii website) that merit attention.

Postby Nathan » 08/31/03 01:12 AM

The September 2003 issue of Scientific American has several interesting articles about the brain. One of these articles discusses the possibility of actually reading a person's thoughts using either fMRI or EEG. I'm quite sure that mentalists are in no danger of being superceded by technology. However I wonder if this technology may be helpful for magicians.

Here's the link to the website. Unfortunately, unless you have a subscription you can't read the whole article. ... A84189F2D7

I'll summarize the relevant point. Apparently, a person telling the truth uses a specific part of the brain. When a person lies they must use the truth telling part in addition to another part of the brain that covers up the truth. I guess the hope is to make a very accurate lie detector.

Obviously we're not going to all run out and perform Triumph while someone takes an fMRI of our brain. But maybe one day the technology will be such that we could. It might be possible to use it as sort of a magical metronome. If we could train ourselves to PHYSIOLOGICALLY conceal the deception, it may be possible to breed a new type of super-magician.

Posts: 29
Joined: 10/14/08 08:23 PM

Postby Larry Horayne » 09/01/03 02:14 PM

NEVER HAPPEN -- invasion of privacy issue. Joe Dunninger's method will be 'safe' forever...
Larry Horayne
Posts: 78
Joined: 07/20/08 09:22 AM

Postby mike cookman » 09/12/03 12:38 PM

I dont know. I've had lots of MRI's over the last couple of years, and I dont see how it's possible. But this does make for some interesting patter for a mentalism effect.
mike cookman
Posts: 164
Joined: 12/08/08 03:48 PM

Postby Nathan » 09/13/03 11:09 AM

I sense that I didn't get my point across clearly. I did NOT mean that magicians might be able to use fMRI as a method for a mind reading trick. What I meant was that magicians might use the fMRI technology in a lie detection system on themselves. It would be possible to quantitatively identify moments in an effect when the performer's brain realizes that it is trying to deceive the audience. (This is far different from actually reading the performer's thoughts.) Then perhaps the performer could train his brain to treat secret actions as if they are not "lies". It might be possible to make the underlying sleights so natural that they are fundamentally indistinguishable from their legitimate counterparts.
Posts: 29
Joined: 10/14/08 08:23 PM

Postby Bob L » 09/13/03 10:16 PM

Well.. if I could think of a way to sneak the charges past my HMO....
Bob L
Posts: 70
Joined: 08/12/08 01:42 AM

Return to Link Watch