While most folks working to improve on the traditional lie detector
have veered towards MRIs, EEGs and the like
, Scott Bunce of Drexel University's College of Medicine has taken a decidedly different approach and turned to an infrared light-based method, which he seems to think would be both less expensive and more accurate. Apparently, the system works simply by sending infrared light into your brain
and measuring how much is reflected back, which varies depending on the levels of oxygen in the blood, and in turn gives an indication of brain activity. Not surprisingly, the research appears to have already attracted the interested of some of the usual suspects -- namely, the U.S. Office of Naval Research and the Department of Homeland Security, who have provided some of the funding -- but it seems like there's still some more work to be done before it moves beyond the lab. At least as far as we know.