Advisory Memorial Board

Professor J. Peter Rosenfeld

The KurzweilAI article Reading Terrorists’ Minds About Imminent Attack said

Using P300 brain-wave testing in a mock terrorism scenario in which make-believe “persons of interest” were planning a crime, Northwestern University researchers were able to detect guilty knowledge with 100 percent accuracy with no false positives, J. Peter Rosenfeld, Northwestern professor of psychology reports. “Even when the researchers had no advance details about mock terrorism plans, the technology was still accurate in identifying 10 out of 12 terrorists and 20 out of 30 crime-related details,” Rosenfeld said. “The test was 83 percent accurate in predicting concealed knowledge, suggesting that our complex protocol could identify future terrorist activity.”
This means law enforcement officials may ultimately be able to confirm details about an attack (such as date, location, and weapon) that emerge from terrorist chatter by using P300 brain-wave testing with suspects.

J. Peter Rosenfeld, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology, and member of the interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, Northwestern University. He is a leading scientist in the pursuit of electroencephalogram-based lie detection.
Among the professional society positions he has held, Peter served on the board of directors for the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and as president of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology. Among his editorial roles, he served as associate editor of the International Journal of Psychophysiology and as associate editor of the Journal of Neurotherapy. He served as member of the editorial board for the following journals: Biofeedback and Self-Regulation, International Journal of Rehabilitation and Health, Journal of Credibility Assessment and Witness Psychology, and Applied Psychophysiology. He has published more than 150 articles and other professional research materials, and has presented his work nationally and internationally.
There are three major questions being currently researched in his laboratory:
1) Is it possible to develop a P300-based deception detection test which is accurate and resistant to countermeasures?
2) Does the profile or pattern of event-related brain wave (ERP) amplitudes across the scalp vary from deceptive to honest mind states? He mostly looks at the P300 ERP in response to autobiographical information. There is an obvious application here to the field of detection of deception, but there are other more theoretical concerns: Is there a profile specific to deception (a “Pinocchio” effect)? Does the brain work in a unique way during deception? Does altruistic deception show a different P300 profile than selfish deception? Do the brains of psychopaths produce different P300 profiles than the brains of normals during deception? As far as P300 is concerned, we don’t see differences. He has recently seen that there is a difference in normals between the late slow wave responses accompanying lies versus truths, but we do not see this effect in people with psychopathic traits.
3) What is the difference in brain function during retrieval of a) real memories vs. b) honestly believed, but false memories vs. c) malingered false memories (which the subject knows are not real, but dishonestly claims are real)? This question is addressed also by comparing P300 scalp profiles associated with the three kinds of memories. He also looks at the latency of the P300 wave (time from stimulus to wave peak) and have so far found it is the best discriminator of a) and b) above. This suggests that P300 latency is a correlate of unconscious recognition.
Peter edited Detecting Concealed Information and Deception: Recent Developments. He also coauthored The Complex Trial Protocol (CTP): A new, countermeasure-resistant, accurate, P300-based method for detection of concealed information, False Memory: P300 Amplitude, Topography, and Latency, Scaled P300 Scalp Distribution Correlates of Deception in an Autobiographical Oddball Paradigm, and Simple, Effective Countermeasures to P300-based Tests of Detection of Concealed Information, and authored “Brain Fingerprinting:” A Critical Analysis and Event-related Potentials in Detection of Deception. Read the full list of his publications!
Peter earned his B.A. in Biology and the Humanities at Columbia College in 1959. He earned his M.A. in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in 1961 and his second M.A. in Psychology at the University of Iowa in 1969. He earned his Ph.D. in Physiological Psychology at the University of Iowa in 1971.
Read Mind Readers: Brain-scanning Machines May Soon Be Capable of Discerning Rudimentary Thoughts and Separating Fact From Fiction.