Brief Communication

Cognitive Neurodynamics

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 159-166

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Brain fingerprinting: let’s focus on the science—a reply to Meijer, Ben-Shakhar, Verschuere, and Donchin

  • Lawrence A. FarwellAffiliated withBrainwave Science/Brain Fingerprinting Laboratories, Government Works, Inc. Email author 
  • , Drew C. RichardsonAffiliated withFBI Laboratory (at the time of the research)


Farwell in Cogn Neurodyn 6:115–154, (2012) reviewed all research on brainwave-based detection of concealed information published in English, including the author’s laboratory and field research. He hypothesized that specific methods are sufficient to obtain less than 1 % error rate and high statistical confidence, and some of them are necessary. Farwell proposed 20 brain fingerprinting scientific standards embodying these methods. He documented the fact that all previous research and data are compatible with these hypotheses and standards. Farwell explained why failure to meet these standards resulted in decrements in performance of other, alternative methods. Meijer et al. criticized Farwell in Cogn Neurodyn 6:115–154, (2012) and Farwell personally. The authors stated their disagreement with Farwell’s hypotheses, but did not cite any data that contradict the three hypotheses, nor did they propose alternative hypotheses or standards. Meijer et al. made demonstrable misstatements of fact, including false ad hominem statements about Farwell, and impugned Farwell’s motives and character. We provide supporting evidence for Farwell’s three hypotheses, clarify several issues, correct Meijer et al.’s misstatements of fact, and propose that the progress of science is best served by practicing science: designing and conducting research to test and as necessary modify the proposed hypotheses and standards that explain the existing data.


Brain fingerprinting P300-MERMER P300 Event-related potential Concealed information test MERMER