Detection of deception about multiple, concealed, mock crime items, based on a spatial-temporal analysis of ERP amplitude and scalp distribution

Psychophysiology. 2008 Sep;45(5):721-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2008.00683.x. Epub 2008 Jul 24.


Three groups, two-probe (2PG), three-probe (3PG), and control (CG), performed a mock crime. 2PG and 3PG stole two and three items, respectively, after a baseline "truth block"; the CG stole nothing. Subjects all completed a second "lie block" after the mock crime. There were four stimuli in truth and lie blocks: truth probe (TP), truth irrelevant (TI), lie probe (LP), and lie irrelevant (LI). Stolen items were probes; other items were irrelevants. Spatial-temporal PCA was applied. For the 2PG, subjects' frontal-central component amplitudes in the 520-644-ms temporal component were significantly more positive for LP than for LI stimulus. Individually, 12 of 14 subjects (far better detection than results [72% hits] with non-PCA analyses methods) in the 2PG were detected, with a false positive rate of 4 of 14 in the CG. No difference between LP and LI was found in 3PG data. In summary, spatial-temporal PCA improves detection of concealed information.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Crime / psychology*
  • Electrodes
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology*
  • Female
  • Guilt
  • Humans
  • Lie Detection / psychology*
  • Male
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Scalp / physiology