Electrical and Computer Engineering Seminar Series

Forensic brainwave analysis


Professor Richard Jones


New Zealand Brain Research Institute / Christchurch Hospital / University of Canterbury

Time & Place

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 14:00:00 NZST in Kirkwood KH03


Forensic brainwave analysis (FBA) is a relatively new paradigm and objective tool aimed at detecting concealed information in the brain. FBA is based on event-related potentials in response to visual or auditory stimuli. Of particular interest is the P300 brainwave elicited after a person has been shown information of particular significance which only the perpetrator would know. An extended version of the P300 test, the P300-MERMER (‘brain fingerprinting’), has been used by its developer, Dr Larry Farwell, in several high-profile cases in the USA. Farwell claims 100% accuracy in cases which could be independently verified. A UC-based team of Robin Palmer and Debra Wilson (School of Law), myself (NZBRI, ECE, Psychology), and Ewald Neumann (Psychology), are looking closely at (i) bringing brain fingerprinting into NZ and (ii) undertaking further lab- and field-based studies aimed at confirming the potential of FBA to improve crucial aspects of criminal justice.


Director, Christchurch Neurotechnology Research Programme, New Zealand Brain Research Institute

Senior Biomedical Engineer, Medical Physics and Bioengineering, Christchurch Hospital

Professor, ECE (Neural Engineering Research Group) and Psychology