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It’s Official: 100 Percent Brain Fingerprinting Is For Real

posted May 3, 2016, 4:03 AM by Ellen Pearlman

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Natural, non-responses can give you away - Andrew Halting/Bingham University - The New Biometric Brainprint

It was just a matter of time before ‘brain fingerprinting’ became the go-to biometric indicator of choice for those in high security, non-breechable positions of power and authority. And the time is now. Researchers at Binghampton University have developed a biometric identification method called Cognitive Event-RElated Biometric REcognition (CEREBRE) for identifying an individual’s unique brain fingerprint. They discovered each subjects brains had a unique reaction to a visual image. When a computer analyzed each unique image response it was with 100 percent accuracy. Just like fingerprints and iris scans, no two people were alike. The best part is they can’t be stolen and can’t be imitated.

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Professor Sarah Laszlo, University of Bingham who discovered the technique -Andrew Halting/Bingham University - The New Biometric Brainprint

They are able to do this because each “category of stimulation” works with overlapping parts of the brain (see semantic brain below). A picture of food, a celebrity, or an animal all stimulate different parts of the brain. 

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Prepping a subject for testing - Andrew Halting/Bingham University - The New Biometric Brainprint

The research crosses cybersecurity, biometrics, cognitive neuroscience and psychology. Professor Lazlo says, “ We are unique, our brains are unique, our thoughts are unique, our feelings are unique, its really quantifiable, you are not the same as any other person.”

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One person’s unique brainwave “fingerprint” - Andrew Halting/Bingham University - The New Biometric Brainprint

The researchers see this as being used for “access to very high security locations” like the Pentagon, and will be used for next generation biometrics. But what is happing at the University of California, Berkeley doubles the fun.

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Mapped areas of the brain responding to the word “top” (highlighted in green), all images from Nature Video

The other frontier that is progressing quickly is the semantic brain, or brain mapping out of Jack Gallant’s lab at UC Berkeley. There is now a ‘brain dictionary”. It not really just one word, as  “a single word can activate whole regions”.  Its your entire brain.

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Word “top” associated with words of clothing and appearances

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Top is also with numbers and measurements

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As well as top as in places and buildings

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Mapping of types of words

Certain words form in certain parts of the brain, although activity is all across the brain and in both hemispheres. Volunteers at Gallants lab went into an fMRI Lab and listened to stories from The Moth storytelling for two hours. They figured out, through blood flow, which parts were responding to the meaning of the words, or the actual semantics.

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The red sections here are social words, especially “wife, mother, pregnant and family”. 

It also aligns with words like ‘house and owner” just next door. Words that have to do with how things look, like “stripes” are, naturally,  found near the visual cortex. 

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Different people have the same kinds of concepts in the same kinds of places, though not exactly the same. 

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So I went to the online mapping of voxels here, and zoomed in on that little orange square, and it was like reading an amazing poem - 

This aligns very closely with the first study mentioned above, on brain fingerprinting, since it uses a type of semantic qualifier of images and words to calculate the brain fingerprinting process. When these two areas align, that of brain fingerprinting and the semantic brain, no matter who you are, there you are, complete and irreplaceable. And trackable and identifiable.

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