Brain Electrical Oscillations Signature Profiling

BEOSP is a computer-based technology to identify the perpetrator of a crime accurately and scientifically by measuring brain-wave responses to crime-relevant words or pictures presented on a computer screen.

 The technique is not for interrogation. It does not require any questions or any answers. It reveals objectively whether information is present in the brain, regardless of whether any false or truthful statements are made by the subject. The brain does the talking. The FBI agents were identified with 100% accuracy.

 The test measures individual brain-wave responses to relevant words, pictures or sounds presented by a computer. The measurements are recorded in fractions of a second after the stimulus is presented, before the subject is able to formulate or control a response. In a major milestone for the company, the results of this patented testing methodology have been ruled admissible in court as scientific evidence. The technology has many exciting applications in several very large markets: national security, medical diagnostics, advertising, insurance fraud and in the criminal justice system.



 Brain Fingerprinting testing works as follows:

  • Words or pictures relevant to a crime are flashed on a computer screen, along with other irrelevant words or pictures.
  • Electrical Brain responses are measured non-invasively through a patented headband equipped with sensors.
  • Lawrence Farwell had discovered that a scientific brain-wave response called a MERMER (Memory and Encoding Related Multifaceted Electroencephalographic Response) is elicited when the brain processes noteworthy information it recognizes.
  • Thus, when details of the crime that only the perpetrator would know are presented, a MERMER is emitted by the brain of a perpetrator, but not by the brain of an innocent suspect. In Farwell Brain Fingerprinting, a computer analyzes the brain response to detect the MERMER, and thus determines scientifically whether the specific crime-relevant information is stored in the brain of the suspect.

The fundamental difference between the perpetrator of a crime and an innocent person is that the perpetrator, having committed the crime, has the details of the crime stored in his memory, and the innocent suspect does not. This is what Brain fingerprinting testing detects scientifically, the presence or absence of specific information.

In a Brain fingerprinting test, relevant words, pictures or sounds are presented to a subject by a computer in a series with irrelevant and control stimuli. The brainwave responses to these stimuli are measured using a patented headband equipped with EEG sensors. The data is then analyzed to determine if the relevant information is present in the subject’s memory. A specific, measurable brain response known as a P300, is emitted by the brain of a subject who has the relevant information stored in his brain, but not by a subject who does not have this record in his brain.

The P300 response has been extensively researched for more than 30 years. This research has been widely published in leading professional journals and the P300 response has gained broad acceptance in the scientific field of psychophysiology. In his research on the P300 response, Dr. Farwell discovered that the P300 was one aspect of a larger brain-wave response that he named and patented, a MERMER (memory and encoding related multifaceted electroencephalographic response). The discovery of the MERMER allows the results gained through P300 testing to be substantially more accurate. Since the inclusion of the MERMER in the brain-wave analysis algorithm, Brain fingerprinting has made a definitive determination in every case, with more than 200 subjects having been tested.

 The human brain stores information in the form of signals in different sensory modalities all through the waking periods. These signals are classified in terms of their relationship perceived as function of experience and existing knowledge, as well as new relationship produced through sequential processing. The process is called encoding which is primary, if individual has directly participated or experienced. It is considered secondary when the information is obtained from secondary sources such as watching, listening etc. Primary encoding is deep seated as the individual himself/herself will have shared or participated in the experience/act/event. Such encoded information can be found when the brain is activated by using portion of the information relating to the act/event which is part of the event. The brain of the subject who has participated in such event, will respond differently from that of a person who either has not participated or received the same information from secondary sources. The retrieval of information by Brain Mapping is based on this principle. By using this technique, it is possible to identify the precise individual who has perpetrated crime and can be differentiated from that of those who have acquired information from the secondary sources. The individuals who have Primary encoded information will show the characteristic brain responses which are indicative of the possession of first hand knowledge [personally acquired] of the event.

 The fundamental difference between an innocent and the guilty person in the crime scenario is that, a guilty person has committed crime and has the record of crime stored in the Brain and no information is present in the innocent’s Brain. Event Related Potentials [ERP’s] are the potential changes with which the brain reacts to particular stimulus which is time locked. The functional significance of several ERP components during human information processing is well described. In the present paper “Brain mapping” a new, non-invasive, specific and accurate method of detection of concealed information about crime, based on ERP, is described. A component of ERP such as P3 or P300 is used as most promising detection index as it is robust, consistent and of neuropsychological significance. The ease of recordings of P3 components and their large amplitudes offer additional advantages in general and for retrieval of crime information in particular. The P3 is elicited by rare and meaningful events that are relevant and specific to the participant and his tasks. A little over than 500 individuals connected with variety of crimes reported from across the country are subjected to Brain mapping test. It is found that the rapidity of processing and significant activation of P300 amplitudes were observed in respect of real perpetrators and no such activities were observed in respect of innocents. Significant changes in activation were observed even among the individuals who were subjected to the test as witnesses for their specific activities. The characters in the P300 amplitudes were found to be significantly different in respect of the information obtained from primary encoding and those form secondary sources. Various analytical tools are used to evaluate the statistical confidence levels of the ERP signals and the accuracy of the information elicited was 99.98%. This technology is of great help to unambiguously identify the perpetrators and innocents but also to differentiate the perpetrator from witnesses or complainants. The Brain mapping technology has not only revolutionized the causes of crime investigation but also has survived a series of legal challenges under Articles 20 (3) and 21 of the Indian constitution. The degree of legal acceptance for the conduct of Brain mapping test has led various High Courts to redefine the scope of constitutional provision vest under Article 20 (3) and Article 21 of the Indian constitution holding them as not “Absolute”.

Lawrence A. Farwell introduced Brain finger printing technique for solving crimes in the year 2001. He claims as is stated in his web site “Farewell Brain fingerprinting is a revolutionary new technology for solving crime with a record of 100% accuracy and ----. The technology is fully developed and available for application in the field”.

 How P300 works?

There are two kinds of memories: conceptual memory and autobiographical memory. P300 is used to measure the autobiographical or experiential memory. When an autobiographical memory is remembered a particular part of the brain called ventromedial part of anterior cingulate gyrus is activated. A single electrode is enough to measure a P300.

A thief is made to recall sequentially the way he robbed the house. He is also, for example, shown the picture of the house or presented with the auditory stimulus which he might have heard while robbing the house, and is asked whether he recognizes the picture or the tone. When he responds, if he has actually been in the house, a P300 is generated. Even when he answers with a no, P300 is generated, but with various other potentialities. So there is a sort of conflict here; the variables are confounded. This is one of the disadvantages of the P300.

 To generate a map you need to have 20 to 30 electrodes fixed to the scalp. A lot of data for research can be obtained by using only 6 to 8 electrodes. But for clinical purposes at least 20 electrodes are required.

Legal status:-

The technology of Brain mapping developed has revolutionized the causes of crime investigation in the country and has obtained laurels and recognitions by the Judiciary and Investigating agencies. Further, the Brain mapping technology has survived a series of legal challenges under Article 20 (3) and Article 21 of Indian Constitution.

 Decisions rendered by various Hon’ble High Courts in the country are available in the following:

1] ALL MR (Cri) 1704, (2004) [Bombay High Court].

2] Order of Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka in CRL petition no  964/2000 September ( 2004).

3] ALL. MR (Cri) 74, (2005) [Orrisa High Court].

4] Cri I.J.2401 (2006) [Madras High court]

5] Arun Gulab Gawali Vs State of Maharastra and others in WP No.2739/2005

6] Cri. L. J. 2401 (2006) [Madras High Court].

7] Madurai Bench of Hon’ble High court of Madras in Crl.R.C. (MD) No.380 of 2007 and MP (MD) No 1 of 2007 

1. Apparatus for monitoring, analyzing and when required counteracting excess brain electrical energy of a patient to prevent epileptic seizures and the like, said apparatus including: (a) three electrodes adapted to be implanted in the brain being monitored, each electrode connected through conductors to a constantly energized and connected electronic circuit, said electrodes including a first implantable electrode adapted to be placed in a zero activity point of the brain, the electrical output from this first electrode detecting the levels of normal and abnormal electrical energy and feeding this output as a signal to the electronics circuit portion of the apparatus, a second implantable electrode adapted to be placed in a typical point of detection area of the brain, the output from this electrode sent as a signal from this area to the electronic circuit, and a third implantable electrode adapted to be placed in a typical point of control of the same brain, this electrode receiving countermotive forces from the electronic circuit when said circuit so determines; (b) an electronic means and an amplifier means in said electronic circuit, said electronic means receiving the output of the implantable second electrode and inverting this output after which the resulting electrical signal is fed to said amplifier means of the electronic circuit, said amplifier means providing a comparison and addition means to incoming signals; (c) a conductor connected to the first electrode, said conductor being connected to said amplifier means and carrying the electrical energy level of the zero activity portion of the brain to the amplifier which analyzes and compares this energy level in relation to previously established normal; (d) means for sending a reference voltage to the amplifier comparison and addition circuit, this reference voltage established and set by the operator in accordance to previously determined electrical thresholds of the brain of the patient in which the electrodes are to be implanted, this reference voltage being compared by and in said amplifier circuit and where necessary a vector addition is made by this amplifier circuit to add voltage to the inverted received voltage; (e) a circuit means in the electronic circuit for receiving and monitoring the signal from the comparison and addition circuit means and when this signal exceeds a set level amplifies this signal a determined amount; (f) a circuit means providing both passive and active electronic network means for receiving the monitored and amplified signal indicative of excess energy outputs from the second electrode and within predetermined maximum limits provides a countermotive force which is sent through a conductor to the third electrode which force quells this storm in the brain, and (g) a power means connected to the electrical circuit to supply a constantly "on" power necessary to energize the electrical circuit to normal operating levels.

2. Apparatus for monitoring and counteracting excess brain electrical energy as in claim 1 in which the power means is a battery whose energy level is monitored by a self test circuit means and there is additionally circuit means connected to said power means providing a limit control and an alarm which is actuated when the voltage drops below that set by the limit control.

3. Apparatus for monitoring and counteracting excess brain electrical energy as in claim 2 in which there is provided an oscillator which generates a high frequency signal connected to the circuit means for receiving and monitoring the signal from the comparison and addition circuit, this high frequency signal being used as a carrier for a feedback signal when such a signal is sent to the third electrode.

4. Apparatus for monitoring and counteracting excess brain electrical energy as in claim 3 in which the electronic circuit includes a filter connected between said comparison and analog addition means and said circuit means for receiving and monitoring the signal from the comparison and analog addition means which receives the signal output from electronic circuit means providing the comparison and analog addition function and filters the electronic flow to prevent this flow from interfering with other electrical brain functions such as heart beat and respiration, said filtered signal being conducted and fed to the circuit means for receiving and monitoring the signal from the comparison and addition circuit means.

5. Apparatus for monitoring and counteracting excess brain electrical energy as in claim 4 in which the electrodes are adapted to be permanently implanted and the electronics and battery therefore are encased so as to provide a small size unit which may be easily carried on and by the body of the one being monitored.

6. A method for monitoring and counteracting excess brain electrical energy to prevent epileptic seizures which includes the steps of: (a) implanting three electrodes in the brain of the mammal being monitored, the first electrode being placed in a zero activity point of the brain and from this electrode feeding its electrical output to a constantly energized and connected electronic circuit, the second electrode being placed in a typical point of detection area of the brain and a third electrode being placed in a typical point of control of the same brain; (b) connecting the electronic circuit to the second electrode by a conductor and inverting electronically the output of the brain from this second electrode and feeding the resulting inverted signal to an electronic means in said circuit to provide a comparison and addition means to incoming signals; (c) connecting a conductor to the first electrode which carries the electrical energy level of the zero activity in the brain, this electrical energy being fed to the comparison circuit for analysis of the energy in relation to a normal energy level; (d) setting by the one in charge of the apparatus a reference voltage control level, this reference voltage being fed to the electronic means providing the comparison, said means performing vector addition when necessary; (e) feeding the output signal current of the addition means to a level set amplifier portion of the electronic circuit, which, when necessary, amplifies this current signal; (f) sending the signal from the level set amplifier to a safety limit circuit portion of the electronic circuit, this portion providing passive and active electronic networks which receive this signal and in the cases of excessive energy outputs from the second electrode and the comparison circuit feeds a countermotive force to the third electrode to quell an anticipated storm in the brain, and (g) providing a power means which enables the electronic circuit portion of the apparatus to be constantly energized.

7. The method for monitoring and counteracting excess brain electrical energy as in claim 6 in which the step of providing the power means is a battery whose energy level is monitored by a self-test circuit having a low voltage limit control and an alarm.

8. The method for monitoring and counteracting excess brain electrical energy as in claim 7 which includes the further step of connecting an oscillator which generates a high frequency signal so as to feed said oscillating signal to the level set amplifier portion of the electronic circuit with this high frequency signal providing a carrier for the feedback signal to the third electrode.

9. The method for monitoring and counteracting excess brain electrical energy as in claim 8 which includes the step of providing a filter which receives the signal output from the electronic means providing the comparison and analog addition and filters the electronic current therefrom to prevent this current signal from interfering with other electrical brain functions such as the heart beat and respiration and feeding said filtered signal to the level set amplifier portion of the electronic circuit.

10. The method for monitoring and counteracting excess brain electrical energy as in claim 9 which includes permanently implanting the electrodes and further includes encasing the electronics and battery to provide a small unit which may be easily carried on the body of the one monitored.


Automatic feedback control is the essence of this invention in that this control receives signals indicating aberrant energy from the brain, analyses it electronically as necessary and with a proper safety and power supply means then feeds electric energy back into the brain in opposition to the original aberrant level so that the net resultant voltage, current and/or electrical field in localized areas on the brain is maintained at no level greater than that experienced during normal behavior. The electronic feedback device of this invention is applied not only to those types of epilepsy where aura is electrically seen prior to an actual seizure (typified by some types of Grand Mal and Temporal Lobe Epilepsy) but also is applied to some types of mental illness where psychic storms occur providing electrical activity in the brain similar to that of epilepsy but having as its manifestations psychic storms instead of physiological seizures.

The means of detecting and controlling the voltage level of the brain is through the use of implanted electrodes 12, 14 and 16. The reason for employing implanted electrodes as compared to surface electrodes is to provide the exact point of application in the brain where either the point of detection or the point of control can be found without having the electrical path through the skull either deterioriate the signal in terms of the detection signal due to the impedance of the fluids, tissue, skull bone and other media between such point of detection and an external point. Similarly, a control signal for feedback data, if applied externally, would require a larger electrical signal to produce a comparable control. Typical electrical voltages represented in medical research studies reveal that when monitored internally a normal brain pattern signal can reach 10 millivolts while the same signal monitored outside the skull produces a level of approximately 10 microvolts.

The aura condition of an epileptic seizure can in fact increase the electrical activity a factor of 10 times to a level 100 millivolts (when monitored internally). Hence, for a corrective signal to be applied in opposition to such an aberrant level, a minus 90 millivolts level would be internally applied whereas approximately minus 90 volts would be externally applied; a quantity which could be dangerous. Therefore, in the present invention internal electrodes are to be used so that the voltage control will be at low levels which is safe.

The concept of automatic feedback has been used in the field of servo technology for many years. The uniqueness of the present invention is the application of automatic feedback theory and devices wherein the electrical energy of a mammal such as a human is considered part of a servo loop in the automatic feedback. The normalizing of this current flow provides a resultant improvement in the mammal's performance where without such feedback control afflictions such as epilepsy and mental illness prevent the normal behavior of that particular mammal and the resulting deterioration caused by the affliction.

The employment of this system requires implanted electrodes, transdermal wires and external electronics. It is noted that just as history with heart pacemakers has shown that totally implanted devices can be made practical, so also is it anticipated that this device with sufficient experience and history will be implanted with the application of electronic miniaturization. The miniature electronic detection and control device of this invention will be capable of being totally implanted thus eliminating transdermal wire with the inherent possibility of damage and failure of the system.

In use, detected signal from electrode 14 is carried by conductor 20 to an inverting circuit 22 where the signal is reversed in polarity (minus the reference voltage level) in order to be added to the aberrant brain electrical level during the epileptic or psychic storms. This causes the brain voltage to be reduced to that of the reference level. This action is similar to that of adding several voltages together in an analog computer at a "summing junction" where the resultant electrical levels are the algebraic sum of all voltages added at that point. This, of course, takes into consideration the sign or phase of the voltages being added.

The "common" or "ground" electrode 12 is used as a reference point against which the electrical levels at the point of detection, the point of control and all other computing reference and safety electrical levels is judged and conditioned.

The inverted signal -X from circuit 22 is carried by conductor 26 to the comparison and analog addition circuit 24. Also to electronic circuit 24 is fed signal R which is carried by conductor 28 and is the reference voltage level set by the doctor. Another signal is the brain signal from the "common" electrode 12 which is fed to this comparison circuit. Direct current power to operate the electronic circuitry is derived from the power supply 50 which has its own related safety and self-test circuitry 54 which when used as a permanently installed unit includes a low limit alarm 56 which indicates when a malfunction or voltage loss occurs.

The comparison and analog addition circuitry 24 receives the inverted signal -X from conductor 26 and combines this algebraically with signal R carried by conductor 28 so that the electrical quantity R-X is produced as a raw signal yet to be conditioned for use as the ultimate feedback signal. This raw signal is fed by conductor 34 to the filter 32 which removes all frequency components which could effect vital functions such as respiration and heart action. The frequency band usable for these functions is approximately 5 to 40 herz. The signal entering the modulation and level set amplifier 30 is the electrical quantity R-X limited within the frequencies of F to F2 (approximately 5 to 10 herz).

The oscillator 40 and modulator level set amplifier 30 are both operated from the same battery power supply 50, noted above.

The oscillator generates a high frequency carrier signal wherein there is created a selected frequency having a range from 40,000 herz to 1 million herz. The need to use a high frequency carrier is so as to utilize the lowest voltage possible in the carrier electrical signals and also to utilize the inherent electrical phenomenon manifest in the synapsis of the brain. Since the electrical nerve pathways in the body are really composed of synapsis which react to provide electrical energy transfer similar to the semiconductor devices called diodes the operator of the device is able to forecast the utilization of these synaptic pathways as diode detectors. This means that the diode characteristic which is used in radio circuits to separate the audio information from the high frequency carrier signal is like the present circuit of this invention where it is planned to use the conditioned feedback signal to detect and provide for brain control utilizing the brain synapsis. The brain synapsis is emloyed to demodulate the correct data from the high frequency carrier which by itself is not seen by the rest of the body. The level set amplifier 30 is set by the doctor so that the particular mammal being treated has the determined electrical levels set to compensate for the particular levels required to stablize the brain activity of that mammal. If the control signal is fed back into the same area from which the electrode received signals are set, the voltage is likely to be at unity value with respect to the originating signal. However, when it is necessary to apply the control signal at a point of control which is different from the point of detection by the electrodes it will be required to use a ratio scale to increase or decrease the control signal experimentally to determine that signal level necessary at the point of control which is required to quell or stabilize the detected aberrant energy in the brain.

The modulator 30 receives the high frequency signal generated by the oscillator 40 and impinges on the signal the envelope of frequencies entering the modulator and level set amplifier 30. These frequencies include the electrical signal quantity R-X filtered from F1 to F2 by filter 32 which modulates in amplitude the high frequency signal. The resulting conditioned electrical signal is sent by conductor 42 to the safety limit circuit 44.

This safety limit circuit 44 provides additional electrical safeguards to prevent either momentary or long term pulses or continuous electrical signals from developing to a level which will be injurious to the mammal involved. As the time constant of energy of the physiological mammal is in terms of milliseconds and the electrical condition and functioning of the control circuit is in terms of microseconds, the electronic circuit acts at a rate which is responsive and available to assist the physiological needs of the mammal.

Self-test circuit 54 is designed to assure the mammal, when human, to which this device is connected that the electronic circuit is in an operative condition ready for activiation without any jeopardy of the operation arising from low battery voltage.

It is anticipated, as above noted, that the initial electronics and power source (battery and control safety circuits) will occupy a volume less than a pack of standard cigarettes and be externally carried on the user. With the use of micro electronics it is further anticipated that this size can ultimately be further reduced and the electronics and power source be mounted beneath the skin surface of the user in the form of a small wafer.

Terms such as "left," "right," "up," "down," "bottom," "top," "front," "back," "in," "out" and the like are applicable to the embodiment shown and described in conjunction with the drawings. These terms are merely for the purpose of description and do not necessarily apply to the position in which the apparatus for monitoring and counteracting excess brain energy may be constructed or used.

While this particular embodiment of the apparatus and method of use has been shown and described it is to be understood the invention is not limited thereto since modifications may be made within the scope of the accompanying claims and protection is sought to the broadest extent the prior art allows.


 Dr. C. Mukundan, National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore

 Dr. S.Malini & Dr. B. Mohan, Forensic Science Laboratory, Bangalore

 Brain Fingerprinting Laboratories, Inc.

 Donchin et al, Behavioural Brain Sciences 1988

Dalbey, B. (1999). “Brain Fingerprinting Testing Traps Serial Killer in Missouri.” The Fairfield Ledger. Fairfield, IA, August, 1999, p 1.

Dale, S.S. (2001). “THE BRAIN SCIENTIST: Climbing Inside the Criminal Mind.” TIME Magazine, Nov. 26, 2001, pp 80-81.

Druckman, D. and Lacey J.I. (1989). Brain and cognition: some new technologies. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

Ms. Rohini Kishor, M.Sc. Forensic Science, Amity University.

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