Skip to main content

Facial Skin Surface Temperature Changes During a “Concealed Information” Test

When individuals who commit a crime are questioned, they often show involuntary physiological responses to remembered details of that crime. This phenomenon is the basis for the concealed information test, in which rarely occurring crime-related details are embedded in a series of more frequently occurring crime-irrelevant items while respiratory, cardiovascular, and electrodermal responses are recorded. Two experiments were completed to investigate the feasibility of using facial skin surface temperature (SST) measures recorded using high definition thermographic images as the physiological measure during a concealed information test. Participants were randomly assigned to nondeceptive or deceptive groups. Deceptive participants completed a mock-crime paradigm. A focal plane array thermal imaging radiometer was used to monitor SST while crime-relevant and crime-irrelevant items were verbally presented to each participant. During both experiments, there were significant facial SST differences between deceptive and nondeceptive participants early in the analysis interval. In the second experiment, hemifacial (i.e., “half-face” divided along the longitudinal axis) effects were combined with the bilateral responses to correctly classify 91.7% of participants. These results suggest that thermal image analysis can be effective in discriminating deceptive and nondeceptive individuals during a concealed information test.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 2.
FIGURE 3.

REFERENCES

  1. Drummond, P., and J. Lance. Facial flushing and sweating mediated by the sympathetic nervous system. Brain 110:793–803, 1987.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Ekman, P. Telling Lies: Clues to Deceit in the Marketplace, Politics, and Marriage. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1992.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Ekman, P., W. Friesen, and S. Ancoli. Facial signs of emotional experience. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 39:1125–1134, 1980.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Ekman, P., W. Friesen, and P. Ellsworth. Emotion in the Human Face. Elmsford NY: Pergamon Press, 1972.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Ekman, P., J. Hager, and W. Friesen. The symmetry of emotional and deliberate facial actions. Psychophysiology 18:101–106, 1981.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Ekman, P., R. Levenson, and W. Friesen. Autonomic nervous system activity distinguishes among emotions. Science 22:1208–1210, 1983.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Ekman, P., and M. O’Sullivan. Who can catch a liar. Am. Psychol. 46:913–920, 1991.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Elaad, E., and G. Ben-Shakhar. Effects of motivation and verbal response type on psychophysiological detection of information. Psychophysiology 26:442–451, 1989.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Fox, R., R. Goldsmith, and D. Kidd. Cutaneous vasomotor control in the human head, neck, and upper chest. J Physiol. 161:298–312, 1962.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Furedy, J. J., and G. Ben-Shakhar. The roles of deception, intention to deceive, and motivation to avoid detection in the psychophysiological detection of guilty knowledge. Psychophysiology 28:163–171, 1991.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Furedy, J. J., C. Davis, and M. Gurevich. Differentiation of deception as a psychological process: A psychophysiological approach. Psychophysiology 25:683–688, 1988.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Gorbach, A. M. Infrared imaging of brain function. In: Optical Imaging of Brain Function and Metabolism, edited by U. Dirnagl, A. Villringer, and K. M. Einhaupl. New York: Plenum Press, 1993, pp. 95–123.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Grayson, J. Responses of the microcirculation to hot and cold environments. In: Thermoregulation: Physiology and Biochemistry, edited by W. C. Bowman, E. Schönbaum, and P. Lomax. New York: Pergamon Press, 1990, pp. 221–234.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Horneman, C. J., and J. G. O’Gorman. Detectability in the card test as a function of the subject's verbal response. Psychophysiology 22:330–333, 1985.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Iacono, W. G., G. Boisvenu, and J. A. Fleming. Effects of diazepam and methylphenidate on the electrodermal detection of guilty knowledge. J. Appl. Psychol. 69:289–299, 1984.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Kleinmuntz, B., and J. J. Szucko. Lie detection in ancient and modern times. Am. Psychol. 39:766–776, 1984.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Lieblich, I. Manipulation of contrast between differential GSR responses through the use of ordered tasks of information detection. Psychophysiology 6:70–77, 1969.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Lieblich, I., S. Kugelmass, and G. Ben-Shakhar. Efficiency of GSR detection of information as a function of stimulus set size. Psychophysiology 6:601–608, 1970.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Lykken, D. T. The GSR in the detection of guilt. J. Appl. Psychol. 43:385–388, 1959.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Lykken, D. T. The validity of the guilty knowledge technique: The effects of faking. J. Appl. Psychol. 44:258–262, 1960.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Pavlidis, I., N. L. Eberhardt, and J. Levine. Human behavior: Seeing through the face of deception. Nature 415:35, 2002.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. Seymour, T. L., M. Shafto, and A. L. Mosmann. Using response time measures to assess “Guilty Knowledge.” J. Appl. Psychol. 85:30–37, 2000.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. Sokolov, E. Perception and the Conditioned Reflex. New York: Macmillan, 1963.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Sokolov, E., and Cacioppo, J. “Orienting and defense reflexes: vector coding the cardiac response”. In: Attention and Orienting: Sensory and Motivational Processes, edited by P. Lang, R. Simons, and M. Balaban. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997, pp 1–22.

    Google Scholar 

  25. SPSS Inc. SPSS Regression Models 10.0. Chicago: SPSS Inc., 1999.

  26. Yankee, W. J. An investigation of sphygmomanometer discomfort thresholds in polygraph examinations. Police 9:12–18, 1965.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Zajonc, R. B., Murphy, S. T., and M. Inglehart. Feeling and facial efference: Implications of the vascular theory of emotion. Psychol. Rev. 96:395–416, 1989.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The authors would like to thank Kay Williams, Betty Rodriguez, and Rose Swinford of the DoDPI Research Staff for their assistance with data collection procedures. We would also like to thank Gordon Barland, Esther Harwell, Ron Kiefer, and Don Krapohl, all of whom administered the polygraph exams to our study participants. We are also grateful to Johnnie Rodgerson for his advice concerning instructions given to deceptive participants. This project was funded by the Department of Defense Polygraph Institute as project numbers DoDPI00-P-0011 and DoDPI02-P-0012. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Dean A. Pollina.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Pollina, D.A., Dollins, A.B., Senter, S.M. et al. Facial Skin Surface Temperature Changes During a “Concealed Information” Test. Ann Biomed Eng 34, 1182–1189 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10439-006-9143-3

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10439-006-9143-3

Keywords

  • Imaging/Infrared thermography
  • Behavior/Physiologic behavior
  • Polygraph
  • Face temperature