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Team develops new alternative to narco-analysis, brain mapping
Swapna Tarafdar New Delhi, July 13 (PTI) As the country debates on the validity of narco-analysis and brain mapping tests, forensic experts now claimed that a new technology 'Brain Electrical Oscillation Signature (BEOS)' is more "efficient and non-invasive" than the current scientific methods followed in the investigation of criminal cases.

"BEOS can read the reactions of brain even if the suspect remains silent. It can pin-point the actual person present in the crime scene among many suspects which both narco-analysis and brain mapping cannot do," Mukundan C R, consultant to the Directorate of Forensic Sciences told PTI.

Mukundan, who is the brain behind the new technology, said BEOS has already been appreciated by the British Psychological Society and the Society wants to have a "collaboration with us and have asked us to set up a lab there to carry out more research."

He said narco-analysis test and brain mapping has been discarded by almost all investigating agencies in different parts of the world as they do not give "concrete results".

"In narco-analysis test, the respondent blows out five per cent sense and 95 per cent non-sense. Under the influence of drugs, he speaks out even what he has not done but had wished to do. It is like hearing a person who has had two to three pegs of whisky," he said.

Giving reasons for disowning brain mapping, he said, "It does not give concrete results. There is no specificity and is like diagnosing a disease by just taking notes of the body temperature. Body temperature does indicate something is wrong but you cannot diagnose the actual disease," Mukundan said.

He explained that both brain mapping and BEOS record time-locked electrical activity from the surface of the brain when the suspect is presented with specially formulated auditory probes referring to various aspects of the crime being investigated.

While in the case of brain mapping, the suspect has to say something but under BEOS, he can remain silent.

"This is the biggest advantage of BEOS. The suspect is not forced to answer, his choice of remaining silent and not being subjected to reply out of force or fear is restored. The brain will react to probes put ahead of him," Mukundan said.

Explaining further he said, "There are two kinds of memories - Conceptual and Experiential. All suspects will have conceptual memory of any crime which means that he will know that a murder has been committed. But experiential knowledge will only be with the suspect who was present when the crime happened or when he is part of it."

Mukundan said in the case of BEOS, experiential memory is activated unlike brain mapping which also requires the person to respond with a 'yes' or 'no'.

M S Rao, Director of Directorate of Forensic Sciences, Delhi said, "BEOS uses conventional, non-invasive and safe method of recording electrophysiological activity (EEG) and hence is a better than the methods that are being used now in criminal investigation."

"In foreign countries, laws have banned use of narco-analysis test for criminal investigation in civil cases," he added.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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