Talk:Brain fingerprinting

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Neuroscientist1 (talk) 21:53, 6 November 2016 (UTC)

Someone needs to seriously clean this article up. I'd do it myself but I don't really have the required knowledge. But it just looks like a terribly unneutral, biased article at this point. Scout1011 (talk) 04:47, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

I agree that this article could be cleaned up. — fnielsen (talk) 14:04, 19 May 2015 (UTC)


There's a photo of someone undergoing the technique at Not sure about copyright status...

Added in the bulk of the criticisms subtopic - Chequers 14:07, Feb 15, 2005 (UTC)

Which studies?[edit]

Could you identify which studies have shown it is possible to 'fool' this process? Thx Zardiw 03:43, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Cleanup tag[edit]

I started doing some basic cleanup to this article, but found it has some significant problems that require some domain knowledge that I don't currently have. First, it uses many terms that are neither explained nor linked to. Second, it references quite a few technical papers that it also fails to provide links for. Third, much of the material is repetitive and seems to be a hodgepodge of excerpts from various sources. Especially confusing are vague references like "some people believe" and "large proportion of the scientific community believe" that have no citations (a frequent sign of an unsourced personal opinion) and the mixture of supportive and critical statements in sections that are supposedly primarily supportive or critical (which might be addressed through reorganization). I don't mean to demean the efforts of the editors to date, but as a new reader of this topic, I don't feel I have any real understanding of the subject after reading the article, which must be the goal of an encyclopedia entry. Therefore, I've added a cleanup tag. Could concerned editors make an attempt to repair these deficiencies? Thank you. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 04:33, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

information present[edit]

How do you determine the difference between an FBI agent and someone who just knows a lot about the FBI? --Gbleem 20:19, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

You probably can't. If the suspect happens to be a rarity that knows a lot about that subject or the victim, then BF will fail. The subject should be asked if they know anything about the victim, just in case. It is in their own interest to say so as they might get wrongly convicted. Similarly, BF may not be useful for appeals and retrials, since the falsely-convicted man would have heard all the evidence and cannot pretend not to know key facts that "only" the real perpetrator can know. It helps if some key pieces of evidence is kept out of the public view, so that these facts remain untainted by use. Tabletop 06:34, 26 August 2006 (UTC)


This article lacks an objective discussion of the problems of the method. In my opinion, there is clearly a POV problem. 17:52, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree. It currently reads like an advertisement for the technology, with no attempt to weigh evidence for or against its efficacy. Have there been any truly independent double-blind controlled studies of this technique? If so, their results need to be reported in the article; if not, this needs to be mentioned in the article. -- The Anome 11:22, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Update: following the links at the bottom of this article, I found this: and in particular this: "Brain Fingerprinting": A Critical Analysis, which appears to be quite strongly critical of Farwell's research. None of these concerns are reported in the article. -- The Anome 11:32, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
There is also a program on PBS called Innovation, which dealt with this topic in a 2004 episode. MMetro (talk) 01:08, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
This must be one of the most biased pages on the whole of wikipedia! It's jokes! I'm currently writing my PhD thesis about this kind of stuff and I got plenty of references. I'll probably make the article a little less biased when I'm done with my thesis but if you have more sources post them here. I think the developers of Brain Fingerprinting are editing this page because there's no other explanation for this. Nongrezzo (talk) 15:51, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
The article definitely needs cleaning up. If I cut out some of the cruft, will you chip in if necessary? Looie496 (talk) 16:23, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

Substantial additions[edit]

Attempted to add the needed scientific expertise and reference material and to establish NPOV. Added about 30 references. Added more extensive discussion of criticisms of brain fingerprinting, a section on limitations of brain fingerprinting, and a section on future research and applications and the concomitant controversy. Corrected several factual errors. Clarified several points. Eliminated a couple of links that were clear copyright violations and fixed or eliminated several broken links. Neuroscientist1 (talk) 23:44, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Brain fingerprinting in Abhaya murder case[edit]

Please see this link Sister Abhaya Murder case: Timeline. ManoramaOnline is a leading online and print media in India. -- Sreejith Kumar (talk) 19:59, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, that's very interesting. Is there any more information? That is, did brain fingerprinting actually get used, or was this just a direction from the judge? I think it is worth mentioning in the article in any case, but it would be nice to clarify whether it was actually used. looie496 (talk) 20:14, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
This is a case that has been making news for more than 16 years. The first arrests in this case did happen only last week. The investigation team hasn't come up with the details as yet. It will take three more weeks before everything is known. But advanced techniques were, in fact used in this case. For the moment, I shall add information on the known bit in the article. -- Sreejith Kumar (talk) 20:29, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

The technique that was used in the case has sometimes been incorrectly referred to as "brain fingerprinting." In fact, it was an entirely different technique known as brain electrical oscillation signature (BEOS) profiling. Part of the confusion comes from claims by the developer of the technique that it is based in part on Farwell's brain fingerprinting test that has been ruled admissible in US court. In fact, BEOS is fundamentally different from brain fingerprinting as developed and applied by Farwell. BEOS lacks the scientific foundations, peer-reviewed publications, and record of accuracy that brain fingerprinting has established. A year-long expert review of the technology found it to be unscientific; the review committee, headed by the chief of India’s national neuroscience program, recommended against using it in court or even during investigations. The Supreme Court of India ruled that it could not be used without the subject's consent. In any case, whatever the merits (or lack of merits) in the BEOS system used in India, it is not brain fingerprinting. (talkcontribs) 02:54, 12 March 2011 (UTC)Neuroscientist1 (talk) 03:03, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

Removed poor prose section[edit]

Due to the lack of quality of prose, I've pasted it below. If anyone wants to improve the prose and place it back on the page, feel free.Wzrd1 (talk) 22:56, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Brain Fingerprinting Laboratories ceased to exist in 2007. It re-incorporated on 30th September 2011.

Article from India. They sent Lawrence Farwell Back !

extract: FARWELL’S VISIT TO INDIA This writer, had an opportunity to expose the fallacy behind Farwell’s brain, fingerprinting technique when Lawrence Farwell visited Hyderabad on March 27, 2004 whence the Andhra Pradesh Forensic Science Laboratory had organized a symposium on ‘Truth detecting techniques’. After Farwell made his presentation he was confronted with the comment that his technique would not differentiate the brain wave response exhibited by the perpetrator of a crime from that exhibited by the others who have knowledge about the crime. Farwell concurred with the observation. Farwell’s team brought with them more than a dozen equipment to be marketed in India. The Director General of Police, Andhra Pradesh, Mr Sukumaran had on the spot cancelled the orders earlier placed for the purchase of a unit for Andhra Pradesh Forensic Science Laboratory from Farwell and Farwell had to go back to America taking back all the units he brought to India for sale.

Weasel words/vague citations[edit]

There are multiple portions that look like this:

JB Grinder, whose 15-year string of serial rapes and murders was cut short after Farwell's brain fingerprinting test detected the record of the murder of Julie Helton stored in his brain, would have strongly preferred that applications of the technique in criminal investigations be delayed indefinitely (KTVO-TV 1999)

Writing what appears to be hearsay, and citing an unreachable local news report from sometime in 1999 does not add anything to the article.

-- (talk) 18:22, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

Let's have a meaningful, fact-based dialogue on the science of brain fingerprinting.[edit]

Dear Fellow Scholars: Let's have a meaningful, fact-based dialogue on the science of brain fingerprinting. Rather than simply deleting the work of dozens of contributors to this article over the last 10 years and substituting a single paragraph that expresses a strong (and extremely negative) POV, let's have a meaningful, evidence-based dialogue about the scientific subject at hand. There have been dozens of scientific articles published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature on this topic. If you think it is "controversial" or "questionable," then let editors on both sides of the controversy, and those who support this science or question it, both contribute to the article. Then the readers can consider the facts, references, and arguments, and make up their own minds.

Deleting all of the scientific references except one negative one from over 10 years ago is not the way to present a neutral POV, nor is it the best way to inform our readers. Note that a reply presenting an opposite perspective to the one article cited was published in the same issue of the same journal. <ref>{{cite journal |last=Farwell |first=L.A. |journal=Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice |title=Brain fingerprinting: Corrections to Rosenfeld |date=2011 |volume=8 |issue=2 |pages=56-68 |url= |accessdate=2016-11-04 |format=PDF }}</ref> For a neutral POV, both articles must be cited if one is. They both were cited and discussed in a section of the article that was not included in the stub. In any case, there are many peer-reviewed scientific articles discussing the relevant science, from varying viewpoints, that are far more comprehensive than the one extremely negative article cited in stub.

Deleting all the references to legitimate news sources such as Time magazine, CBS 60 Minutes, CNN, US News and World Report, and the Washington Post does not serve the interests of the readers. Deleting the contributions of all of the many contributors -- with varying points of view and citing different sources to support their views -- is not the way to produce an informative article. If you think the article is lacking, the course of action to take is to edit it, not simply to delete the whole thing. Neuroscientist1 (talk) 01:42, 30 December 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not the place for a "meaningful fact-based dialogue" (see WP:NOTFORUM). Our articles are supposed to reflect the consensus of reliable independent secondary sources. The vast majority of the sources you have promoted are primary and not independent. In fact, virtually all of them are co-authored by Farwell. Wikipedia is not the place to blaze the trail for acceptance of a theory.
The "dozens of contributors" actually comes down to about four, if you review them by size of contribution. Lary Farwell, Brainf, Brainfingerprinting and you. None of these accounts has any significant contributions to any other topic.
What is your connection to Farwell? Guy (Help!) 10:32, 30 December 2016 (UTC)

Brain fingerprinting: A meaningful dialogue about the science[edit]

The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Guy said: "Everything I do or say could be wrong. I try always to be open to that possibility. If you think I am wrong, please just talk to me nicely, and it can all be sorted out like grown-ups."

I'll take you up on that. I am Neuroscientist1 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log). I appreciate your commitment to valid, proven science and to accurate information. I hope that after checking the facts more thoroughly you will realize that I have the same commitment, as do the other major authors of scientific articles on brain fingerprinting.

You said: "Bluntly, this article reads as blatant advertising. I am fairly sure it is an unrecognised and questionable technique." These are two separate and independent statements. Let's assume for the sake of argument that the first statement is true, or as true as a subjective opinion can be. That does not mean that the conclusion you are "fairly sure" of in the second statement is true. I think that when you look more closely and comprehensively at the demonstrable facts, you will reach a different conclusion, or at least be open to equal representation for a different point of view.

Please consider the following facts. The most definitive and comprehensive peer-reviewed scientific articles on brain fingerprinting are on five studies conducted at the FBI, the CIA, the US Navy, and elsewhere. These are reported in 2013 and 2014 in two excellent and well-respected peer-reviewed journals. <ref> {{cite journal |last1=Farwell |first1=Lawrence |last2=Richardson |first2=Drew |last3=Richardson |first3=Graham |title=Brain fingerprinting field studies comparing P300-MERMER and P300 brainwave responses in the detection of concealed information |journal=Cognitive Neurodynamics |date=2013 |volume=7 |issue=4 |pages=263-299 |doi=10.1007/s11571-012-9230-0 |url= |publisher=Springer |accessdate=2016-11-04}} </ref> <ref> {{cite journal |last=Farwell |first=Lawrence A. |last2=Richardson |first2=Drew C. |last3=Richardson |first3=Graham M. |last4=Furedy |first4=John J. |journal=Frontiers in Neuroscience |title=Brain fingerprinting classification concealed information test detects US Navy military medical information with P300 |date=2014-12-23 |doi=10.3389/fnins.2014.00410 |url= |publisher=Frontiers Media S.A. |accessdate=2016-11-04 }}</ref>

Brain fingerprinting is also described in the Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences. <ref>Farwell, L. (2014). "Brain Fingerprinting: Detection of Concealed Information" in ''Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science'', A. Jamieson and A.A. Moenssens, eds. Chichester: John Wiley. DOI: 10.1002/9780470061589.fsa1013. Published 16th June 2014</ref>

The editors of these scientific journals and the encyclopedia found the brain fingerprinting science worthy of publication. The whole purpose of the peer-review process is to distinguish between valid science and an "unproven" or "unrecognised and questionable technique." The editors of these journals and encyclopedia reached the opposite conclusion from the one you are "pretty sure" of. I respectfully submit that they are more qualified than you are to make that decision. They are also more qualified than the reporter you quoted. (Incidentally, of the hundreds of lay articles published on brain fingerprinting, only a handful are negative. You chose one of these to quote.)

If somehow the editors of these three prestigious and authoritative publications had been mistaken, scientists would have undoubtedly pointed it out by now. No scientist in any peer-reviewed publication has found any fault with the science of brain fingerprinting published in these articles.

I respectfully submit that your conclusion that brain fingerprinting science is "unproven" and "unrecognised and questionable" is incorrect. At best, it is one opinion, which is the opposite of what many others think, including the experts who have published the major peer-reviewed papers in the field and the editors of those journals.

Regarding your ad hominem comments, and jps's statement that "This is just another example of the rank pseudoscience of polygraphy, but it is only promoted by a single snake oil salesperson," I think that both of you have missed the mark, albeit in good faith. The authors of the above cited articles are Lawrence Farwell, Drew Richardson, John Furedy, and Graham Richardson. (Drew Richardson and Furedy died in 2016.) Drew Richardson was an extremely well respected FBI forensic scientist and former chief of the FBI's chem-bio-nuclear counterterrorism response force. Furedy was one of the most well published and well respected scientists in the field of psychophysiology. Both of them were major forces in the fight against pseudoscience of all kinds, but particularly with reference to polygraphy. Richardson was co-founder of, the flagship of the forces exposing pseudoscience in the form of polygraphy. Richardson and Furedy wrote one of the most definitive peer-reviewed scientific articles against polygraphy, entitled "The Polygrapher's Dilemma."

Another scientist who has conducted some of the leading peer-reviewed research on brain fingerprinting is William Iacono, a scientist unaffiliated with Farwell who testified as an expert witness along with Farwell in the Harrington case in which brain fingerprinting was ruled admissible in court. (Yes, brain fingerprinting was ruled admissible in court, as noted in the court decision <ref name="HarringtonVState2001">Harrington v. State, Case No. PCCV 073247. Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, March 5, 2001</ref> and in the Yale Journal of Law and Technology. <ref> {{cite journal |last=Roberts |first=A.J. |journal=Yale Journal of Law and Technology |title=Everything Old Is New Again: Brain Fingerprinting and Evidentiary Analogy |date=2007 |volume=9 |pages=234-270 |url= |accessdate=2016-12-30 }}</ref>) In addition to peer-reviewed publications on his research results, he wrote a review article entitled "The Forensic Application of Brain Fingerprinting: Why Scientists Should Encourage the Use of P300 Memory Detection Methods." <ref>{{cite journal|last1=Iacono|first1=W.G.|title=The forensic application of "Brain Fingerprinting: why scientists should encourage the use of P300 memory detection methods|journal=The American Journal of Bioethics|date=2008|volume=8|issue=1|pages=30-32|doi=10.1080/15265160701828550}}</ref> Iacono is also a leading critic of the polygraph, and has written peer-reviewed articles exposing and opposing pseudoscience in polygraphy. He has also testified as an expert witness against the polygraph in court. (Since this is a talk page and not an article, I'll forego citing absolutely everything I mention. If you are interested, I can provide citations for anything I say.) Iacono is one of the most respected and decorated scientists in the entire field of psychophysiology.

In short, brain fingerprinting has more than one scientific contributor, and they are not snake-oil salesmen.

Regarding Farwell, in the collective opinion of his fellow scientists who have published peer-reviewed papers in the field, brain fingerprinting is not actually Farwell's most substantial scientific contribution. He also invented the first brain-computer interface (BCI) and published it in a leading peer-reviewed journal. <ref name = "Farwell Donchin 1988"> {{cite journal| pmid=2461285 |year=1988 |last1=Farwell|first1=L.A. |last2=Donchin |first2=E. |title=Talking off the top of your head: toward a mental prosthesis utilizing event-related brain potentials |volume=70 |issue=6 |pages=510–23 |journal=Electroencephalography and clinical neurophysiology |url= |doi=10.1016/0013-4694(88)90149-6}} </ref> Farwell and Donchin's original publication on the BCI has been cited over a thousand of times in subsequent peer-reviewed publications since 1988 (2,339 citations [not all peer-reviewed] according to Google Scholar, as compared with 484 for his original brain fingerprinting paper, Farwell and Donchin 1991, and 274 for a technical mathematics paper published in a leading physics journal). To my knowledge, not a single one of those 2,339 BCI-related articles has found fault with, or even questioned, Farwell's science. Time magazine selected Farwell to the Time 100: The Next Wave, who they concluded were the world's top innovators who may be "the Picassos or Einsteins of the 21st Century." Farwell also invented and patented a novel brainwave-based method for early detection of Alzheimer's disease, <ref name = "Alzheimers patent"> Farwell, L.A., inventor. U.S. Patent # 7,689,272: Method and Apparatus for Brain Fingerprinting, Measurement, Assessment and Analysis of Brain Function. Issued 3/30/2010. </ref> and published multiple peer-reviewed articles in the psychophysiology, neuroscience, forensic science, and physics scientific literature on EEG in aging, EEG analysis techniques such as digital filtering and statistical bootstrapping, and mathematical techniques such as chaotic attractors. You are entitled to your opinion about Farwell, but others who frankly know much more about his science than you do have opposite opinions. Presenting your opinion as fact in Wikipedia without equal representation for the opinions of those who have reached an opposite conclusion about him and his inventions (plural) would be a gross violation of Wikipedia's POV guidelines (as I understand them). Brain fingerprinting is not Farwell's most major scientific contribution (albeit it is the one that has gotten the most popular press). With all due respect, redirecting Farwell's page to brain fingerprinting is inappropriate, particularly when you have eliminated the entire brain fingerprinting page and substituted a short paragraph containing only your own opinions and a few cherry-picked non-authoritative lay publications that support them.

While we're in the ad hominem space, regarding who Farwell is and what he stands for, you might find it interesting to know that Farwell testified against the polygraph before the Senate Intelligence Committee in reference to the Aldrich Ames CIA-double-agent case. No one before, least of all the polygraph people, has ever accused Farwell of being an advocate of "the rank pseudoscience of polygraphy." Whether you like Farwell or not, that shoe does not fit.

Regarding Brainf (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) and Brainfingerprinting (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log), I have no idea who they are or whom they are affiliated with. Judging by their writings, however, I think it is extremely unlikely that they are scientists with any knowledge of the field.

There is also some confusion regarding the term "brain fingerprinting" in the article as it now stands. The article quotes findings by the government in India that "brain fingerprinting" is unscientific, unproven, and invalid. The situation is that an Indian named C. R. Mukundan developed a system (usually referred to as BEOS) that he falsely claimed was similar to and/or based on Farwell's brain fingerprinting invention. Farwell was one of the experts who went to India and helped the government to debunk Mukundan's system (as well as other pseudoscience including "narcoanalysis" or using purported truth serums). The quoted decisions were against Mukundan's system, not against Farwell's brain fingerprinting, but unfortunately Mukundan's use of the term "brain fingerprinting" also crept into some of the language used by the Indian government in rejecting his system. The details of the various written statements from the Indian government, however, make it clear that what is being debunked and rejected is Mukundan's system, and not Farwell's brain fingerprinting. The statements about India and brain fingerprinting belong not in the brain fingerprinting page but on a disambiguation page, if they are to appear at all. Or at least there should be an explanation that in that context the term "brain fingerprinting" was erroneously used to describe Mukundan's technique rather than Farwell's brain fingerprinting as described in the Wikipedia brain fingerprinting article.

The brain fingerprinting article now contains exclusively highly negative content, with no representation of the other point of view. You have deleted all of the peer-reviewed scientific research and the information and citations from other encyclopedias, with the sole exception of one highly negative article that was published over 10 years ago and has no bearing on any of the scientific articles I mentioned above. Moreover, you fail to cite a reply and corrections to that article by Farwell and Richardson that were published in the same journal.<ref> {{cite journal |last=Farwell |first=L.A. |journal=Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice |title=Brain fingerprinting: Corrections to Rosenfeld |date=2011 |volume=8 |issue=2 |pages=56-68 |url= |accessdate=2016-11-04 |format=PDF }}</ref> You cite only a few of the many lay articles on brain fingerprinting, cherry picking those few that are negative, and ignoring hundreds of positive articles. This, in my humble and admittedly not expert opinion, is not in accord with Wikipedia's POV guidelines. It certainly is not in accord with the practice of accurately and comprehensively representing science.

I'm all for going after the bad guys -- pseudoscientists, criminals, and baddies of all stripes -- and blowing them out of the water, but before doing that I have learned that one must be much more than "pretty sure" that the targets actually are the bad guys. Having had the experience of being simultaneously sure and wrong, I have learned to keep an open mind. I hope you will do the same.

On initially reading your edits, I thought that you must be someone with an axe to grind -- maybe a representative of the polygraph industry, or a failed academic competitor whose scientific or mathematical errors have been exposed by Farwell. I was mistaken, and frankly I underestimated you. Upon looking into who you are more carefully, I realize that you are as committed to the truth as I am. I respectfully suggest, however, that you have not yet done enough research to know that the truth is in this situation. Just as I did initially with respect to you, I think you leaped to a conclusion that was incorrect, without first thoroughly examining the evidence. In reality we are on the same side here. Our mutual duty is to present the readers of Wikipedia with accurate, balanced information about the science involved. I, too, have a sense of humor (not to be confused with a sense of humour -- quite different actually). I only went to a 380-year-old (American) university. Nevertheless I, too, am a middle-aged parent who has shared your experience of "oh no, not this shit again," with respect to both parenting and science. So, as you suggest, let's talk nicely and sort this whole thing out like grown-ups.


- Neuroscientist1 (talk) 00:58, 31 December 2016 (UTC)

tl/dr - nobody is going to read all that, and per WP:TPG this page is solely for discussing concrete improvements to this article, not the subject in general. Jytdog (talk) 01:06, 31 December 2016 (UTC)
I would encourage you to read this. I do not think your claim that Farwell is doing something other than polygraphy (or better than, for example) is at all well-grounded. jps (talk) 01:08, 31 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Your fundamental problem is that every single positive reference you propose either has Farwell as co-author, or is published on his site. What's your relationship with Farwell? I must have missed that among all the verbiage. Guy (Help!) 10:36, 31 December 2016 (UTC)

NPOV comes from independent sourcing[edit]

User:Roguesimulant your edits here and here added unsourced content and content based on sources that are not independent of the inventor of this technique, and the content fails WP:NPOV. If you don't understand the problem, please reply here. Jytdog (talk) 05:31, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

Less than 100 percent accuracy does not mean unproven, and then sources from 2005[edit]

While the first version sounded like some commercial, this is absolute dilettante research. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:21, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

Clear revision requirements[edit]

Its clear that this article has been the subject of frequent changes, and I think we need to definitively establish a few things. This article does not meet quality standards, Neuroscientist1 (and Lawrence Farwell) are too close to the article itself, and the subsequent information provided should be scrutinized before being left in the article. However, the current revisions made to Neuroscientist1's edits have gutted this article, making it a stub since Dec. 28th 2016. However, the fact remains; if the FBI, and other official public figures have viewed this technology, then to say it is outright false, may not be true. It may be fair to say that this concept is in its early stages, and as stated in the title "controversial", I would argue there is not enough counterarguments that I have seen to suggest that it is outright pseudoscience, as secretive as Farwell's fingerprinting methods are.

TLDR: This article needs to be fixed. The verdict is still out on brain fingerprinting. Bias AND overly critical information has been included as of the Feb. 24th Edition of this article.

I'd be happy to help organize this article if there is anybody else interested in collaborating in a neutrally review of this article.

J4l0rz (talk) 18:29, 15 March 2017 (UTC)


Copied from User talk:Jytdog. Ian.thomson (talk) 09:08, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

Hi Jytdog,

I'm a little perplexed by your crusade against brain fingerprinting, and in particular the insinuation that there is a study which supports the notion that it is less reliable than the polygraph. Do you have any sources other than the Verge? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mreagle (talkcontribs) 07:56, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

(talk page stalker) @Mreagle: Please assume good faith from other users. You've provided no counter sources to demonstrate that there's anything wrong with the source cited. Your claims that the source is just that author's opinion indicates that you haven't actually read the source because it is his report regarding the neuroscience community's assessments and questions regarding it. It reviews other sources in scientific literature. If you have read it, then your assessment of it can only be described as dishonest. When you provide a counter-argument against that source, it needs to be another source that explicitly shows that the scientific community accepts Brain Fingerprinting -- not law-enforcement, not courts, and not just you (we do not accept original research). Ian.thomson (talk) 08:19, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

Hi Ian, I'm not sure that your suggestion is entirely well founded. If you read the article, as I have, you will see that the quote which Jytdog has used is not in fact even in reference to the polygraph study. Ignoring the irony in your comment regarding assumption of good faith and subsequent allegations of dishonesty, I take issue with the notion that I must provide a second source. Not only is the comment quoted literally just the opinion of a journalist on another site (and therefore no more valid than my own opinion) but there is no issue with challenging the logic of a study based on its method. That is the way that science works. We do not simply assume that something is valid until it is proven to be invalid. This study, if you read it, is actually a literature review, which basically threw together disparate studies with different methods and pooled their results. It is, then, unsurprising that the results were inconsistent. Current brain fingerprinting research shows no false positives across many trials in some protocols. Taking this one literature review is therefore an inaccurate representation of the state of play in this area. Finally, your assertion that the Courts are not valid authority is absurd. What would you suggest they rely on if not scientific testimony? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mreagle (talkcontribs) 08:47, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

Happy to discuss on the article Talk page. Not here, please, but rather centralized so that everybody watching the article can participate. Jytdog (talk) 08:57, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

Fair call! Here we are!— Preceding unsigned comment added by Mreagle (talkcontribs)

I pointed out that you either had not read the source or had misrepresented it. You were correct in that I failed to remember another possibility that assumes more good faith from you: that you completely misunderstood it (among other things).
A source where a journalist reported on what other scientists think about the subject has been cited, you have provided no source that demonstrates that the journalist's reported incorrectly on the scientific assessment of the matter. Both Wikipedia and scientific assessment rely more on Meta-analysis than on cherry-picked studies. If the review had improperly mixed the results as you suggest, then that should have been flagged in peer-review or else criticized in a later article -- neither possibility having been demonstrated so far. Do you have a meta-analysis for your claims that there are no false positives? Science is not legislated in courts, so their acceptance of something as testimony doesn't have any bearing on science. Or should we start treating astrology as legitimate? The Supreme Court of India has affirmed it. Even when more down to earth topics are at hand, courtrooms are full of junk science, even the legal profession is aware of this.
Like you said, "We do not simply assume that something is valid until it is proven to be invalid" -- that means that until you provide sound meta-analyses demonstrating that the scientific community has accepted brain fingerprinting as valid, it must be labelled as fringe. Ian.thomson (talk) 09:08, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

Hi Ian, I'm impressed by your dedication to layman's science, but less impressed by your maturity. While I have no doubt that you've learnt a great deal about science through websites like the Verge, I'm not 100% convinced by your interpretation of the scientific method. I think you will find that meta-analyses are frowned upon in science, and for good reason. But more to the point, the article referred to is not a "meta-analysis" at all. The quote is not even referring to the polygraph study - it's from another paragraph entirely. And even if it were, it is the opinion of the author of the article, who has no authority on the matter whatsoever. Nothing is "legislated" in Courts, because the legislature legislate oddly enough. The judiciary weigh up evidence and make a ruling. So yes, I am quite happy to say that Courts are a sound testing ground for science. That is why DNA evidence is now widely accepted, because the Courts gave it a forum for becoming so. That is not to say that all Courts are equally sound, and does not mean that I accept astrology as legitimate science.

The reliance on meta-analyses may be a problem with Wikipedia as a whole, and that you are simply following those guidelines. I see some very real problems with that system that are particularly obvious on this page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mreagle (talkcontribs) 09:23, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for wanting to improve this article, Mreagle. A couple of things - first, please see your talk page. Second, would you please cite the reliable sources here, that support the acceptance of the validity of brain fingerprinting? Thanks again. Jytdog (talk) 18:16, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

Why no papers by Farwell?[edit]

I just came across this peer reviewed paper by Farwell. I understand critical papers being posted in the article, but why are peer reviewed ones by Farwell not included as well? Is there some way that introducing them would disrupt neutrality? Just curious. Thanks.

Update: I added the above reference to the article so that people could see the peer reviewed literature on both sides of the debate and understand that there is a scientific debate regarding this issue in the literature. I think I've kept neutrality by explaining that the technique remains unproven due to there being literature and evidence going in both directions on this technique. Hope this helps.

It's not a good source (not MEDLINE indexed) and doesn't add anything of worth. Alexbrn (talk) 06:38, 29 July 2017 (UTC)

improving the article in light of demonstrable facts, references, and history[edit]

I am writing to request that the Wikipedia community take a look at the article on brain fingerprinting, ascertain if you think it meets the standards for NPOV and accuracy, and act accordingly.

Full disclosure: I am Lawrence Farwell, the inventor of brain fingerprinting and the author (by invitation) of the two most authoritative professional encyclopedia articles on brain fingerprinting as well as two literature reviews and meta-analyses. I also wrote, with my colleagues in the FBI Laboratory and elsewhere, several of the major peer-reviewed scientific articles on brain fingerprinting. I have testified in court as an expert witness on this science. I am not impartial; nevertheless, the facts I bring to light do not depend on my opinions about them. Feel free ignore anything here that appears to be my opinion, and consider only the independently verifiable facts.

This is a rather long comment for a talk section. Some editors have expressed the view that no Wikipedia editor has time to read a long comment from an expert, let alone a professional encyclopedia article on the subject, and that they don't need to read that much in order to be qualified to write an encyclopedia article on brain fingerprinting. I, and undoubtedly every other writer of an article in the relevant professional encyclopedia read over a hundred scientific articles (not to mention my own research) in preparing to write the authoritative professional encyclopedia article on brain fingerprinting [1]. I respectfully suggest that spending at least a few minutes learning about the subject should be a prerequisite for writing or substantially editing an article in Wikipedia as well. Snap judgments and strong opinions are easy to come by. Sufficient knowledge of the subject to make a genuine contribution takes more time, dedication, and openmindedness.

From 2004 through December 28, 2016, multiple editors of widely differing points of view and levels of expertise collaboratively developed an article of 34,456 bytes. On that date, a Wikipedia administrator reduced this to 958 bytes. The original article had 33 references, of which 31 presented a positive POV and 2 presented a negative POV. The revision deleted all but one of the positive references and retained the most negative one.

What apparently happened here is that a Wikipedia administrator read one reference (#2) that expressed an extremely negative POV. Unbeknownst to the editor, it also contained extensive factually false information, so much so that the same journal later published corrections. The administrator, apparently not having read the other references, took that article to be factual and NPOV and acted accordingly. The result was a Wikipedia article that is factually false and expresses an extreme negative POV.

The positive references deleted included many that were far more authoritative than the negative reference that was retained. These included TIME magazine, the Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science, the Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences, research and review articles by multiple authors from multiple laboratories published in multiple leading peer-reviewed scientific journals, legal reviews in legal publications including Yale Law School and Drake University Law School, the official court records of criminal cases, US patents, and various national and international news reports.

The negative reference (#2) that was retained was an article from an obscure and now defunct journal, SRMHP, that contained demonstrably and unequivocally false statements of fact. The same journal published a response that corrected many of the misstatements of fact and provided references where the facts could be independently verified. Obviously, it is not in accord with NPOV to cite one of these two articles and delete reference to the other published in the same journal with the opposite POV. It is not in accord with Wikipedia’s commitment to accuracy to cite an article that contains demonstrable and unequivocal misstatements of fact that have been later corrected in the same journal.

Three additional negative references were added. Two of these references are not about brain fingerprinting. They refer to a totally different technique, BEOS. Brain fingerprinting was mentioned only for background in the references. The article now quotes a statement from an official in The Hindu (currently #6). This statement, “…there were no takers anywhere else in the world,” is true as applied to the BEOS system to which it refers. However, it is patently false if applied to brain fingerprinting. The FBI, the CIA, and the United States Navy have used brain fingerprinting (as evidenced by multiple references that were deleted), and it has been ruled admissible in court in the US (#3). The other negative reference about India (#5 in the current version) also was about BEOS and had nothing to do with brain fingerprinting. It is correctly cited in the BEOS article in Wikipedia.

Unlike the above two, the other added negative reference, the Verge (#1) is arguably legitimate and appropriate to include. However, it is more negative and less authoritative than most if not all of the 32 references that were deleted. There are hundreds of much more authoritative quotations available in much more authoritative references, and virtually all of these are more positive. More than a few are more accurate with respect to the differences between brain fingerprinting and the polygraph addressed in the quotation cited, notably the article on lie detection in the Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences (one of the deleted references), which I wrote by invitation.

The initial sentence of the article contains two characterizations of brain fingerprinting that are demonstratively and unequivocally false, and are also in violation of NPOV. If brain fingerprinting were “unproven,” it would not have been ruled admissible in court (reference #3); accepted for publication in the leading journals in neuroscience, forensic science, and psychophysiology; and recognized as proven in the major authoritative encyclopedia articles and peer-reviewed review and meta-analysis articles (many references that were deleted). In order obtain admissibility in court under the prevailing Daubert standard, the expert witnesses had to prove that brain fingerprinting is (1) tested and proven, (2) accurate and systematically applied, (3) peer reviewed and published, and (4) well accepted in the scientific community. This is documented in reference #3 and multiple deleted references.

The contention that brain fingerprinting is “questionable” arises from the SRMHP article mentioned above (reference #2), an article that contained demonstrably false information that was corrected in another article in the same journal with an opposite POV. (The reference to the false article was retained; the reference to the corrections was deleted.) Dozens of deleted references that have discussed the issue -- including the relevant authoritative scientific journals, peer-reviewed review and meta-analysis articles, print encyclopedias, legal journals, and highly regarded news sources -- have reached the opposite conclusion to the conclusion incorrectly stated as fact in the first sentence of the current Wikipedia article.

If brain fingerprinting were “unproven” and “questionable,” TIME magazine would not have selected its inventor to the TIME 100: The Next Wave, the top innovators of our time who may be “the Picassos or Einsteins of the 21st Century.” (Yes, my raising this point is self serving. That doesn’t change the fact that it is true.)

The article fails to include voluminous publications that directly contradict its characterization of brain fingerprinting, including two authoritative professional encyclopedia articles, over 80 scientific papers, scientific reviews and meta-analyses, several hundred news reports including TIME, The New York Times, US News and World Report <link redacted>, ABC "Good Morning America", CBS "60 Minutes", CNN, Fox News, ABC KOMO News, The Discovery Channel, PBS, BBC, ABC World News, and similar publications in half a dozen other countries and languages.

What is included in the current wiki? One man made demonstrably false and defamatory statements about brain fingerprinting and its inventor in three publications, all three of which published corrections after checking the facts (references cited below). One of these, the uncorrected article in an obscure and now defunct journal, is the sole reference retained from the original brain fingerprinting article in Wikipedia. Two highly negative references that have nothing to do with brain fingerprinting, and are about another technology, BEOS were added, as was one opinionated and negative online blogger's view. Such a travesty would never occur in a professionally produced encyclopedia (such as the Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science). If Wikipedia has any aspirations to be an authoritative and balanced source, the current article needs substantial revision.

Brain fingerprinting may be controversial. Brain fingerprinting is not either "unproven" or "questionable" by any reasonable definition of those words, however. The fact that I personally may be controversial is irrelevant to the science. All of the experts in the scientific community recognize that the science underlying brain fingerprinting is valid, as evidenced in all the deleted references and even the one negative reference that was retained. We have widely varying opinions on how to talk about it and where and when to apply it, but all the experts agree that the fundamental underlying neuroscience is solid.

Voluminous, authoritative references contradict the first sentence as it now reads. If any one of the dozens of available authoritative references are included in the article, the first sentence makes this article self-contradictory in addition to being inaccurate and in violation of NPOV.

The current article appears to be the result of an understandable, good-faith error on the part of the administrator who stubbed the article. He/she had no way of knowing that the one, highly negative reference that he/she retained in the revision was rife with demonstrably and unequivocally false information and expressed an extreme POV. Understandably but mistakenly relying on that article as being a legitimate and unbiased source, and also finding fault with the way the existing article was written, he/she apparently dismissed and deleted all of the other information and references about brain fingerprinting contained in the original Wikipedia article. He/she also had no way of knowing that the author of that one negative reference had also made additional false and defamatory statements about brain fingerprinting and its inventor that were published in other sources, and later corrected in the same sources. His false statements were published by AP and broadcast by the Discovery Channel. AP and the Discovery Channel later checked the facts, discovered that his statements were false, and published/broadcast corrections. This is documented, with citations to third-party publications verifying it, in references #29 <ref name = "SRMHP Corrections"> Farwell, L.A. (2011a). "Brain fingerprinting: Corrections to Rosenfeld." ''Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, 8''(2), 56-68</ref> and #30 in the 18:16 28 December 2016 article that were deleted along with the others.

Aside from the question of NPOV, the current article also fails to serve the interests of readers in another way. Whether one takes a positive, neutral, or, as in the current article, highly negative POV, readers deserve to have adequate information about what brain fingerprinting is, how it has been applied in criminal cases and in agencies such as the FBI and the CIA, where and how this science has been published in scientific journals and discussed in legal journals, etc. All of this was developed in the original article over a period of 12 years and summarily deleted on December 28, 2016. Even Wikipedia articles where the scientific experts agree that the technique is not valid, such as homeopathy, still have much more explanation about the phenomenon than the current article on brain fingerprinting.

If Wikipedia aspires to produce an article that is comparable to the article on brain fingerprinting in the most authoritative professional encyclopedia, here it is in the Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science (one of the deleted references). Like all of the articles in that encyclopedia, it is written by an expert in the field – in this case, myself.

The current article is also missing a link to the websites representing brain fingerprinting and the technology as described by its inventor. I understand that Wikipedia encourages a link for anything/anyone to tell you about itself/himself/herself. (The link was deleted along with the others when the article was stubbed.)

The fact that I invented brain fingerprinting and also wrote authoritative meta-analyses, reviews, and encyclopedia articles, as well as original research articles on brain fingerprinting has been cited by some as reason to exclude all references whereof I am an author or to which I am somehow connected from being cited in the article. If this policy were followed for all scientists and authors and for all scientific and technical articles, Wikipedia would have very little of value to offer in the fields that require expertise.

All of the experts in brain fingerprinting and related fields agree that the science underlying brain fingerprinting is valid and sufficiently reliable to be useful (read all the references in the pre-stubbing article). This includes even the small minority who have been extremely critical of some of my writings and of me personally: even they agree that the underlying science is good. Each of these experts has his/her own opinions and points of view, which are highly divergent. If we exclude all the experts because they have an interest, relevant scientific contributions, and a point of view, we will eliminate references to everything written by the people who actually know anything about the field. We will also eliminate everything knowledgeably written about the science involved.

You can’t demand a meta-analysis or review that concludes that brain fingerprinting is valid and reliable – which all of the meta-analyses and reviews and all of the individual peer-reviewed articles conclude, as evidenced by the pre-stubbing references – and at the same time exclude everything that is written by an expert in the field. Experts like me always write the meta-analyses, review articles, and professional encyclopedia articles as well as the original research articles. None of us are independent of the field in which we are experts. Eliminating anything connected to experts would effectively eliminate everything written by anyone with actual knowledge of the field. The most authoritative articles are written by the most involved, prolific, and highly regarded experts. Eliminating everything written by or associated with the top experts (such as original inventors) would eliminate any reference to the highest quality work in the field. This procedure is not followed in other Wikipedia articles. If it were, very little of substance would be left in Wikipedia regarding scientific and technical subjects.

I have a couple of requests for you, my fellow scholars. First, please let's not make this about me. Vast amounts of ink and digital storage space have been wasted on published speculation and opinions about me, my motives, character, writing style, speaking style, lifestyle, intentions, thoughts, plans, what I must be thinking, what I've said or not said, what I might say in the future, what I'm really all about, etc. All of that is irrelevant.

Some Wikipedia editors have said vicious and ugly things about me. I have no problem with that. Their comments are nothing compared to the nasty things that others have said, including terrorists and serial killers I have caught with brain fingerprinting. No one around here ever threatens my life, which makes all of my fellow Wikipedians much nicer than some of the bad guys I deal with applying brain fingerprinting in the Middle East and even in the US. On the other hand, many people have said nice things, including my colleagues at the FBI, the CIA, the US Navy; fellow scientists who have replicated my results; innocent people I have exonerated with brain fingerprinting; my counterterrorism colleagues around the world; 99% of the news reports worldwide; attorneys, legal experts, prosecutors (when they were on my side), and judges; and my mother, to name a few.

My point is that all of that is irrelevant. What is relevant is the science and its application in the real world. If you want to know about that, you can read 80+ scientific articles and several hundred news reports, or you can read the authoritative meta-analysis and review of all scientific publications to date in the Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science.

Numerous attempts by several people to take some small steps towards correcting the above deficits in the article have been summarily reverted by a couple of Wikipedia administrators (who, to their credit, also reverted some wildly inappropriate edits). I realize these people are only trying to help. We all realize that it is important to defend Wikipedia from self-serving attempts to present new science as more established than it is.

It is also important, however, to eliminate from Wikipedia misinformation that has already been proven false and corrected in the original sources, such as the false material in reference #2 that formed the basis for the erroneous characterization of brain fingerprinting in the first sentence of the article. NPOV is also important, and substantially missing in the current article -- largely due, as discussed above, to good-faith reliance on misinformation from a source that has now proven to be false. It is important as well to provide adequate information and adequate references. Granted, the original, pre-stubbing article would have benefitted from some further editing, improvement, and expansion by people who are (or are willing to become) knowledgeable about the subject. That's what Wikipedia is all about. However, the current stubbed Wikipedia article needs substantial changes before it will present an accurate, well sourced account of brain fingerprinting that is in accord with NPOV.

I request that you, the Wikipedia community, take a look at the current article, the 18:16 28 December 2016 article, and the references cited therein -- or, minimally, the professional encyclopedia reference on brain fingerprinting. I ask you to consider whether a complete or partial restoration of the pre-stubbing article, or at least some improvements in the current article -- or at the very least the elimination of the demonstrably and unequivocally false statements in the current article -- would serve the readers of Wikipedia and enhance the quality of the encyclopedia. We are all on the same team here, and I think we can do better than we have done so far.


Lawrence A. Farwell, PhD / “Neuroscientist1” / “Lawrence Farwell” Neuroscientist1 (talk) 02:10, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

Arbitrary break[edit]

Thanks for disclosing, and for your note. Couple of procedural things -- I have redacted some links you posted that appear to violate the copyright of other people. See WP:COPYLINK - you cannot do that here. Jytdog (talk) 02:44, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

Got it. Thanks.Neuroscientist1 (talk) 02:30, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
I replaced some links that appeared to violate copyrights with links that don't. This brings to light a systemic problem with Wikipedia. To write the definitive professional encyclopedia article on brain fingerprinting, I read over 80 references, many of which were not available online. Experts in the field have access to everything relevant without any copyright violations taking place, either through actually going to the library or through fair use emailing of articles by other experts. At Wikipedia, few will go to the trouble of finding references that are not online. This limits the amount of available material even for an intelligent, diligent, well-meaning, and unbiased editor. If anyone is interested in any copyrighted material that is not available online, I (or any of the other experts in the field) can share it privately by email with you, as a fellow scholar and author, without violating either the spirit or the letter of the copyright laws. Feel free to email me. Neuroscientist1 (talk) 20:54, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
Lots of us have access to journals and other materials through libraries. (I do, and I use the library all the time) Something does not have to be online to be used in Wikipedia. Jytdog (talk) 21:15, 25 October 2018 (UTC)

Also, about this response to Rosenfeld <ref name = "SRMHP Corrections"></ref> - as far as I can tell The Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice stopped publishing at Vol 7 No 1, 2009. What is that cover, showing Vol 8, No 2, 2011? Jytdog (talk) 02:44, 24 October 2018 (UTC) (redacted, added some content) Jytdog (talk) 21:55, 25 October 2018 (UTC)

The journal is now defunct, as I mentioned and you also discovered. First, they stopped publishing online, but continued to publish in print form. The cover is from the print version in 2011, when they were still publishing, but only in print and not online. Neuroscientist1 (talk) 02:30, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
I see - I went to the library and yes their last issue was 2012, Vol. 9 Issue 1, and it contained a response to you from Rosenfeld. I have redacted the links to that paper, which are also COPYLINK violations. Jytdog (talk) 21:55, 25 October 2018 (UTC)

and about this, what is "Excalibur Scientific Press"? Jytdog (talk) 02:44, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

When FBI scientist Drew Richardson and I wrote the reply and corrections that were published in the journal, there was extensive additional information that if included would have made the article too long for their guidelines. The editors suggested that I publish the additional information online, and include a link in the printed article. Excalibur Scientific Press is my own online creation. It is not peer reviewed or independently edited, and does not pretend to be. The "Brain Fingerprinting Corrections to Rosenfeld" article by myself and FBI scientist Drew Richardson in the journal is peer reviewed and was developed with extensive collaboration from the editors of the journal. The journal stood behind that article, as long as the journal existed, and would undoubtedly still stand by it if the journal still existed. The supplementary article published online has essentially the same status as the non-peer-reviewed and non-edited "supplementary data" that are now commonly uploaded by authors along with their peer-reviewed articles when an article is published digitally. To be clear: I do not claim that this supplementary article has been peer-reviewed or scrutinized by the editors of a peer-reviewed journal, because it has not. I claim that the information in this non-peer-reviewed article is accurate and factual -- and I supply links to publications by independent third parties where the substantive information can be verified. Neuroscientist1 (talk) 02:30, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
Well, by gussying it up with "Excalibur Press" it is somewhat deceptive. In any case here in Wikipedia that is a self-published source and we will not use it per WP:SPS. Jytdog (talk) 21:56, 25 October 2018 (UTC)

Finally, what is the best review you are aware of, authored by someone without a financial conflict of interest? Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 02:44, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

That is an excellent question, and presents a bit of a catch-22. (I addressed a closely related issue in my second comment (below), which I just posted before I read your comments on this one.) You may have heard of the US government disallowing scientists to provide input on climate change, because all of them have a financial interest in the issue due to government grants. All of the scientists who have conducted research on brain fingerprinting, and for that matter every forensic neuroscientist and even every neuroscientist in this country, has a financial conflict of interest. The only way we differ is in what that interest is. There may be someone out there who has substantial expertise in forensic neuroscience and doesn't make his/her living at it, but if so it's not one of the known experts or anyone else I've met or heard of.
The author of the SRMHP article that contained false and defamatory information about me and brain fingerprinting had a substantial (and undisclosed) financial interest in attempting to discredit brain fingerprinting and me personally. My writings are a direct threat to the livelihood of that author and several others, because I have exposed in peer-review journals that their research is fatally flawed, so much so that they have lost funding as a result of my disclosures.
In this field, the most independent and objective sources are the professional encyclopedia articles, because they are not developed by the scientist alone. They are developed with extensive collaboration from the editors of the encyclopedia, who do not have a financial interest, and who have a strong commitment to accuracy and NPOV. I see Wikipedia editors as capable of reading such reviews, citing them, and meaningfully including the information presented therein in the Wikipedia article -- without being unduly influenced by the authors of the professional encyclopedia article. Yes, I wrote the definitive professional encyclopedia article on brain fingerprinting. Yes, I have my own personal views on the subject. I was required by the editors, however, to write it with NPOV, to cite and review all the existing literature, to stick to the facts and not my opinions, and to provide peer-reviewed data to support any statements. The article presents the actual aggregate data of all the studies to date, and allows the reader to draw his/her own conclusions. No subsequent publications have found any fault with the Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science reference on brain fingerprinting, and no other scientific publication has cited a single study, research result, or even a single case that is not in accord with it. That article stands as the most authoritative reference on the subject, and no one has proposed an alternative. Excluding it and including the first SRMHP article (which, aside from being proven false and later corrected, is a primary source, an opinion piece, and not a review) is beyond absurd in my opinion.
Even though all the experts in forensic neuroscience have a financial and personal interest in the field, that does not prevent our publications from being cited in the professional journals, the press, and the encyclopedia articles. My original article on brain fingerprinting has over 500 citations in the scientific literature. My original article on the P300 (the brain response measured in brain fingerprinting) has over 1,000 citations. The first article by the scientists who discovered the P300 has over 3,000 citations. There is not in the scientific community, nor is there at Wikipedia, a prohibition against citing articles by people who have a financial and other interests in the subject of their expertise. The only prerequisite is that we disclose our interests, which we in the scientific community do. If there were such a prohibition, the scientific process would be totally stymied. It would not serve the interests of the readers to similarly stymie the process in Wikipedia by failing to publish authoritative publications by experts, who are inevitably interested in the subject of their expertise. Neuroscientist1 (talk) 20:54, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
One way to end up with a balanced view is to let both POVs be presented. That is what is done in the courts. The Harrington case (cited in the article) includes extensive testimony under oath by people on both sides of the issue, including me. None of the testimony is NPOV. However, both sides are strongly represented. Even the scientist testifying against Harrington (on the opposite side from me) acknowledged that the fundamental science underlying brain fingerprinting is excellent. The inevitable conclusion of the court was that brain fingerprinting met the Daubert standard -- which no "unproven" science does -- as discussed in my previous note.
All that said, the best reviews by authors other than me and my coauthors (by authors with as little financial conflict of interest as is possible in the real world) are these:
"Everything New Is Old Again: Brain Fingerprinting and Evidentiary Analogy." Roberts, A.J. (2007)Yale J L & Tech 9. 234-270
Iacono, W.G. (2008). The forensic application of "Brain Fingerprinting:" why scientists should encourage the use of P300 memory detection methods, The American Journal of Bioethics 8(1), 30-32.
Neither is perfect in my opinion, and neither is as comprehensive as the encyclopedia article. Nevertheless, they both reach the same conclusion as the encyclopedia regarding the validity, reliability, and proven nature of brain fingerprinting.Neuroscientist1 (talk) 02:30, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply here. I will check out those independent reviews. The Wikipedia is wired, we give much more WP:WEIGHT to independent sources. That is based deep into the guts of what we do here. Jytdog (talk) 21:58, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
Here are two additional independent reviews of brain fingerprinting:
Solanki, J. and Chauhan, D. (2016) "Brain Fingerprinting." International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology 7(3), #96. e-ISSN: 2395-0056 p-ISN: 2395-0072 Available here.
Dhalayan, D. and Mamtha, B. (2014). "Brain Fingerprinting." International Journal of Scientific Engineering and Technology 3(5), 604-607. ISSN: 2277-1581. This article appears to be open source and available from the publisher here, but the one issue containing this article appears to be a broken link on their website. I accessed the article through here. I believe that since the journal is open access and (purportedly) available to anyone through the publisher’s website, the uploaded version is not a copyright violation.
Neither of these sources are as authoritative or comprehensive as the Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science article (and yes I understand the issue of independence with respect to that article). However, both of these sources are vastly more authoritative, comprehensive, informative, and accurate than any of the references currently cited in the Wikipedia article, except the Harrington court case. According to IRJET here and SJIF, IRJET has an impact factor of 7.211. Both of these references are completely independent, and in particular more independent than reference #2 in the current article, as the author of reference #2 has a financial conflict of interest.
Like the professional encyclopedia article and the other, independent reviews cited above, these reviews document that brain fingerprinting is valid, reliable, accurate, and proven. Neuroscientist1 (talk) 20:56, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Note - In these diffs Neuroscientist1 added comments within mine, and I have fixed this by copying the signature from my original post into each broken-off segment of my original post, and indenting Neuroscientist1's replies. Jytdog (talk) 21:14, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
I fixed some more copyright links that we both overlooked before. Neuroscientist1 (talk) 21:21, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 21:57, 25 October 2018 (UTC)

corrected some links; minor wording changes Neuroscientist1 (talk) 00:08, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

Inaccurate, outdated, and unauthoritative reference resulting in a false conclusion[edit]

The sole reference for the erroneous statement in the first sentence of the article that brain fingerprinting is "unproven" is a primary-source article in an obscure and now defunct publication. The editors checked the facts, recognized that the article contained multiple false statements of fact, and published corrections. The author of that article also made false and defamatory statements about brain fingerprinting and Farwell to the AP and the Discovery Channel. Both of these sources later checked the facts, discovered that his statements were false, and published/broadcast corrections. It's hard to imagine a more inaccurate, unreliable, biased, illegitimate, and unauthoritative source or one more in violation of NPOV. That source is less authoritative, accurate, and reliable than any of the 32 sources that were deleted from the Wikipedia article.

In addition to all of that, however, that source has yet another fatal flaw with respect to the issue of "unproven." It was published in 2005. A lot has happened in the world of forensic neuroscience in the last 13 years.

Among many other things, top scientific journals have published brain fingerprinting research conducted at the FBI, the CIA, the US Navy, in the laboratory, and in real-world criminal investigations. Authors, in addition to Farwell, include Drew Richardson, who was the top forensic neuroscientist in the FBI Laboratory and one of the top experts in counterterrorism in the world. Another author is John Furedy, by any measure one of the most prolific, established, and well respected forensic scientists in the world. (Both are now deceased.)

The Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science has published the definitive meta-analysis and review of brain fingerprinting research<link, which cites and reviews all scientific publications on brain fingerprinting published in English to date. The article in the other major forensic science encyclopedia, the Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences, is less comprehensive but reaches the same conclusion that brain fingerprinting is well established science.

No expert has found fault with any of these articles or the brain fingerprinting science presented therein. No expert has publised a shred of scientific evidence that is not in accord with the findings of these authoritative references.

No professional encyclopedia would cite the one vastly outdated, biased, and false article and fail to cite those legitimate and current articles written by the most established experts in the field and published in the best scientific journals and secondary sources (e.g., encyclopedias).

There is only one imaginable argument against citing the above authoritative sources and meaningfully discussing their contents. That is the fundamental argument of the anti-intellectual movement that unfortunately has gained some popularity in recent years. The fundamental anti-intellectual premise is that expertise + knowledge = bias. Experts, by virtue of their expertise, knowledge, and experience in their field of expertise, are biased, suspect, and not to be trusted. The corollary, which is not often stated so bluntly, is that ignorant people are the only ones with an unbiased opinion and the only sources of information you can trust.

By that argument, the fact that the definitive professional encyclopedia article on brain fingerprinting was written by someone who is the inventor, the author of the seminal scientific paper on the subject, the most experienced and successful scientist in applying this science in the field, and the most famous forensic scientist in the world -- is a weakness and not a strength. Outside of Wikipedia, professional encyclopedias seek out, rather than exclude, the top experts in every field. Some Wikipedians unfortunately apparently subscribe to the fundamental anti-intellectual premise that such experts should be excluded. If that argument prevails, Wikipedia is doomed to mediocrity at best, and at worst to the propagation of ignorance. The current state of the brain fingerprinting article is a case in point.

Please do not raise that anti-intellectual, black-is-white, up-is-down premise as an excuse for excluding from the brain fingerprinting article the above articles and other authoritative sources written by those who know most about the subject.

Please take an open-minded look at the current Wikipedia article, the 18:16 28 the comprehensive article before it was stubbed, and the relevant references, in particular the 31 references that were deleted -- or at least the definitive professional encyclopedia article on brain fingerprinting, and act accordingly as scholars, purveyors of truth, and editors who desire to improve Wikipedia.

Lawrence A. Farwell, PhD / “Neuroscientist1” / “Lawrence Farwell” (Please see disclosures regarding who I am in my previous post.) Neuroscientist1 (talk) 01:40, 25 October 2018 (UTC)

Would you please reply above? Jytdog (talk) 01:46, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
I have again redacted the WP:COPYLINK and am putting a warning on your talk page. If you do that again you will probably be blocked. Jytdog (talk) 01:48, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
My mistake. I posted this second piece with the same apparent copyright violations as the first piece before I was alerted to the issue when I read your comments that you had redacted the copyright violations in my first comment. I am away from the office and could not get back to a computer immediately to fix this. You saw this and fixed it before I could fix it. I have now gone through and replaced all of the links I could find that appear to violate copyrights (or that were redacted for that reason) with links that do not violate copyrights, when such links were available. In particular, the Wiley Encyclopedia article is publicly available in abstract form from the Encyclopedia's website. A secondary report from 'CNN' regarding the 'TIME' article is available on YouTube. I'm acting in good faith here, but with limited knowledge about Wikipedia. Please inform me if I have made any errors. Neuroscientist1 (talk) 21:12, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
Please explain your request, "Would you please reply above?" I'm happy to comply, but I do not understand what you want. Neuroscientist1 (talk) 21:25, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
You did already reply in the section above, and I have now replied to you. Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 21:59, 25 October 2018 (UTC)

Independent sources expose that the key reference in the article is false[edit]

Keeping in mind that this talk page is about improving the Wikipedia article, and not about debating the science or the people involved, the following discussion regarding what independent sources have published is relevant because it documents that independent sources have corrected some of the false statements in the key reference in the current article, one of the only two references that were retained when the article was stubbed and 31 references were deleted.

I think that by any standard the SRMHP primary-source opinion piece cited as #2, which is the sole reference cited to support the editor's opinion that brain fingerprinting is "unproven," is unworthy of inclusion in any encyclopedia article. This is discussed in detail in the corrections published in the same journal <ref> Farwell, L.A. (2011a). "Brain fingerprinting: Corrections to Rosenfeld." ''Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, 8''(2), 56-68</ref>, and discussed above in my previous comments.

With respect to independent and authoritative sources, the same false statements by the author of reference #2 were corrected by AP and the Discovery Channel. He had previously made some of the same false statements he made the SRMHP article to these other sources. These publications did not check the facts before publishing his false statements. After first publishing his false statements and then discovering the actual facts, the publishers have published corrections. Two examples follow.

In a story by the Associated Press (AP), published in the Fairfield (Iowa) Ledger <ref>Dalbey, B. (2003, June 9). "Fairfield company offers to test brain fingerprinting technology on suspects, but method has critics." ''Fairfield'' (Iowa) ''Ledger'' (''Associated Press''), p. 1.</ref>, he made the following misstatement of fact:

"Rosenfeld said...Farwell hasn't published his MERMER findings or made them available for peer review."

On June 23, 2003 AP ran the following corrective <ref>''Associated Press'' (Fairfield (Iowa) Ledger). (2003, June 23). "Corrective: Fairfield company offers to test brain fingerprinting technology on suspects, but method has critics."</ref>: "In a June 9 story about brain fingerprinting technology, The Associated Press erroneously reported that Lawrence Farwell, inventor of the system, had not published his findings. Farwell wrote about his MERMER testing technology in the Journal of Forensic Sciences in 2001.”

Note that the Journal of Forensic Sciences is one of the leading peer-reviewed journals in the field of forensic science.

This is the same misstatement of fact that, as published in reference #2, apparently misled the Wikipedia administrator who stubbed the article to the erroneous conclusion that brain fingerprinting is "unproven." Numerous additional scientific papers, as well as independent reviews, have been published since reference #2 was published in 2005, thoroughly documenting the fact that brain fingerprinting is far from "unproven."

A similar series of events took place at the Discovery Channel. The author of reference #2 made a false statement regarding brain fingerprinting technology and Farwell which Discovery Channel broadcast. The Discovery Channel later checked the facts, determined that his statement was false, and broadcast appropriate corrections.

In a story aired by Discovery Channel Canada on March 14, 2004 <ref>Gilbert, J. (Senior Producer) & McKeown, K. (Senior Producer). (2004a, March 14). "Daily Planet," Toronto: ''Discovery Channel Canada''</ref> and The Science Channel, the author of reference #2 made another demonstrably false statement that he also made in reference #2. Referring to brain fingerprinting, he stated that he can teach people to "beat the test" and that his countermeasures "cut the test accuracy in half." Rosenfeld was introduced as a "leading expert."

The truth is that he showed only that his countermeasures are effective against his technique, which according to his own published research has accuracy rates in some studies as low as chance even without countermeasures. He did not show that his countermeasures, or any countermeasures, might be effective against brain fingerprinting. (This is discussed in detail with reference to the relevant scientific literature in several of the references that were deleted when the article was stubbed.)

The Discovery Channel corrected the false statement by the author of reference #2 and broadcast a revised script in the US and in their subsequent Canadian broadcasts, as follows. Discovery Channel revised the script to make it clear that Rosenfeld’s attempts to beat the test are effective against his methods but not against brain fingerprinting. They also removed the phrase in which they referred to him as a “leading expert.” The revised script was first broadcast on The Science Channel in the US on March 26, 2004 <ref>Gilbert, J. (Senior Producer) & McKeown, K. (Senior Producer). (2004b, March 26). "Discoveries this Week." Silver Spring, MD: ''The Science Channel''.</ref>. The relevant segments of the revised script are as follows:

VOICE OVER: Could Slaughter (a death-row convict tested by Farwell) have outsmarted the technology? Brainwave researcher Peter Rosenfeld thinks it is possible. He’s testing his own version of the test at Northwestern University. ROSENFELD: “We have done research in which we taught just ordinary kids at the university here to beat this test…” VOICE OVER: "In other words, Rosenfeld says he can train people to generate P-300 brainwaves…, This cuts HIS test’s accuracy by half. But Farwell says his brain fingerprinting technology is different, and FAR more accurate. Farwell has tested all of these cheating methods, and they don’t change his results" (emphasis in original script).

Why is this relevant to the quality of the Wikipedia article? Out of 33 sources in the original Wikipedia article, 31 were deleted on December 28, 2016. One of the two that were retained, #2 in the current article, is the sole reference supporting the editor's opinion that brain fingerprinting is "unproven." In a previous comment above I discussed the shortcomings of the SRMHP article, and noted that SRMHP had published corrections to false statements in that article. In this comment I have shown that authoritative independent sources published some of the same false statements published in reference #2, discovered that the statements were false, and corrected them. It is these same false statements in reference #2 that the Wikipedia administrator who stubbed the article apparently relied upon when he erroneously characterized brain fingerprinting as "unproven" in the current version of the article. This is independent verification that the reference #2 is false and that the characterization of brain fingerprinting as "unproven" and "questionable" that relied on reference #2 is erroneous. It also tells us something about the reliability of the author of reference #2 and therefore about the reliability of that reference.

Please take a look at reference #2 and the 31 deleted references in light of Wikipedia's policies on weight. It seems clear to me that reference #2 fails the standard, and at least some of the 31 deleted references meet the standard.

Another reference, which is now included in the article as #3, the Harrington court ruling, also contradicts the misstatements of fact in reference #2 as well as the incorrect statement in the first sentence of the Wikipedia article that brain fingerprinting is "unproven." After extensive testimony and documentation on both sides of the issue, the court ruling stated the following conclusions:

"In the spring of 2000, Harrington was given a test by Dr. Lawrence Farwell. The test is based on a P300 effect."

"The P-300 effect has been recognized for nearly twenty years."

"The P-300 effect has been subject to testing and peer review in the scientific community."

"The consensus in the community of psycho-physiologists is that the P300 effect is valid."

This is yet another independent source that contradicts the opinion stated in the first sentence of the Wikipedia article that brain fingerprinting is "unproven."

Also, it appears to me that the stubbing of the article on December 28, 2016, and in particular the deletion of 31 of 33 sources, is in clear violation of the first paragraph on "Achieving Neutrality" under WP:ACHIEVE NPOV, in light of what has been brought to light about reference #2 on the basis of which the stubbing occurred. I understand how the administrator who did this may reasonably have thought it appropriate based on reliance on the false information in reference #2. Now that it has been proven that reference #2 was false as well as unauthoritative, however, a different course of action is in order: rewriting the 18:16 December 2016 article to genuinely reflect NPOV, rather than eliminating the entire article and replacing it with a stub that reflects the extremely biased POV in reference #2 and the false information therein.

Please see above comments for full disclosure about who I am. Neuroscientist1 (talk) 23:04, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

The author of the major source relied upon and cited in the current article has a documented financial conflict of interest; other faults with that source.[edit]

The author of the major source relied upon and cited in the current article has a major, documented financial conflict of interest. Erroneous, good-faith reliance on this source led to the stubbing of the article and the deletion of 31 other, legitimate sources on December 28, 2016.

The fact that the author of reference #2 in the current article (the first of the two SRMHP articles) has a major, documented financial conflict of interest is in addition to the other reasons that this reference is not valid, reliable, or appropriate for inclusion in an encyclopedia, as summarized below and described in detail with appropriate references in the three preceding comments above.

The author of reference #2 is the inventor of US Patent #4,932,416, an alternative method based on and designed to compete with Farwell's original brain fingerprinting invention. This alternative method has more than 10 times higher error rate than brain fingerprinting, according to all peer-reviewed publications including those of its inventor (the author of reference #2). The author of reference #2 has used the false statements in reference #2 about brain fingerprinting and its inventor as the foundation of his efforts to market his invention, as documented in the corrections published in the same journal where reference #2 was published, "Brain Fingerprinting: Corrections to Rosenfeld." <ref> Farwell, L.A. (2011a). "Brain fingerprinting: Corrections to Rosenfeld." ''Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, 8''(2), 56-68</ref> and further described here, along with references to independent third-party sources where the information can be verified. (Note: This link is not a copyright violation because the document is open source and self-published and the link is to the author's/copyright holder's website where the document is published and publicly available.)

Also, when Farwell obtained $1 million in funding from the CIA, the author of reference #2 was an unsuccessful competitor for that funding.

The additional shortcomings of reference #2, the SRMHP article, are described in detail in the two preceding comments above, along with thorough documentation with reference to independent third-party sources where the information can be verified.

The reasons that reference #2 is not a valid, reliable, or appropriate source are summarized as follows:

1. The author of reference #2 has a major, documented financial conflict of interest.

2. Reference #2 comprises demonstrably and unequivocally false and defamatory statements about brain fingerprinting and its inventor. The editors of the journal later checked the facts, discovered that the statements are false, and published corrections.

3. The author of reference #2 made the same false statements to the AP and the Discovery Channel, who published/broadcast them, later checked the facts and discovered his statements to be false, and published/broadcast corrections.

4. Reference #2 was published in an obscure and now defunct journal.

5. Reference #2 is a primary source and not a secondary source.

6. Reference #2 is an opinion piece expressing the author's opinion about a particular individual and his work; it is neither a contribution of original research nor a scholarly review of the literature.

7. Reference #2 is extremely biased. Neuroscientist1 (talk) 00:41, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

In light of what we now know, does anyone propose a rationale that has consensus and would justify retaining reference #2, the SRMHP reference?

In light of what we now know, does anyone propose a rationale that has consensus and would mandate excluding the 31 references of the opposite POV that were deleted (including the corrections published in the same journal as reference #2), many if not all of which were more authoritative than reference #2? Neuroscientist1 (talk) 20:11, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

Fast Company article on brain passwords[edit]

This is not the same technology, but clearly related: Λυδαcιτγ 03:37, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

Yes, this is indeed related. One could use some of the same well-established neuroscience phenomena currently used in brain fingerprinting for this additional purpose. My colleagues and I (Lawrence Farwell -- see disclosures above) have been working on this as well. Several related scientific articles are discussed and referenced on my website here and hereNeuroscientist1 (talk) 21:05, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

New reference from Newsweek[edit]

Newsweek published a new article on brain fingerprinting that is considerably more authoritative, accurate, and unbiased than any of the sources currently cited, and as accurate, authoritative, and unbiased as many of the references that have been deleted. Does anyone propose a rationale that has consensus for excluding this reference and/or for retaining all of the current ones? Neuroscientist1 (talk) 20:53, 5 November 2018 (UTC)