Israeli scientists develop ultra accurate lie detector test

During the CIT test, the suspect is presented with information about a crime that only the perpetrator would know.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

While polygraph tests are presented on daytime talk shows and criminal dramas as foolproof methods for discovering the truth, these so-called “lie detector tests” are widely considered unreliable in the worlds of science and law.

Studies have shown the tests to be inaccurate, and in many U.S. states the results of polygraph tests are inadmissible as evidence in court.

But now, Israeli scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have created a super-effective lie detecting method, utilizing the Concealed Information (CIT) test with a specialized algorithm, which they say is far more accurate than polygraph examinations.

A study recently published in brain science journal Cortex presented the findings of the researchers, led by Dr. Natalie Klein Sala and Dr. Chen Guetta. The researchers developed the method as a tool for police investigations.

“This test is a worthy alternative to the polygraph lie detector test, which is a common but problematic method for many reasons…The CIT is a more reliable and objective method, relying on only the real criminal to identify information related to the crime he committed,” Dr. Klein Sala told Channel 20 News.

During the CIT test, the suspect is presented with information about a crime that only the perpetrator would know. Using a real-time AI-driven algorithm, the CIT test can recognize if the examinee’s initial response is to hide their familiarity with the information.

Rather than focusing on trying to determine whether or not an examinee is lying, the system works by recording the brain reaction of the person upon hearing information.

If the examinee’s first response is to attempt to comprehend whatever they were told, it’s a sign that they were previously unaware of the information.

But if their first reaction is to try to hide their familiarity with the information, this suggests that the examinee has first-hand knowledge of a crime.

In contrast, polygraph tests measure the physiological reactions of the person being tested. The examiner notes responses such as spikes in heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure as evidence that the examinee is being dishonest.

Critics have pointed out that people can easily beat polygraph tests by simply remaining calm while lying. Examinees can also use breathing techniques to skew the results of the examinations.

Although there’s no timeline in place for introducing the test as a standard part of police investigations, Klein Sala told Channel 20 News that she was optimistic about the value of the CIT when paired with algorithms.

“These results… pave the way to develop algorithms with many applications in criminal investigations,” she said.