Memory Detection Through Brainwave Analysis For Beginners And Everyone Else – FMR. Police Officer Michel Funicelli

Michel Funicelli: Hi Evin

Evin Weiss: I’m going to go straight into the questions like I usually do on my show. And I’m going to ask you, what is brain fingerprinting? 

Michel Funicelli: Okay. Brain fingerprinting is more is the what I would call the popular psychology term for brainwave analysis. 

Evin Weiss: Okay. 

Michel Funicelli: So it is it is a technique that has the goal of drawing out evidence from the stored memories of suspects of crimes and witnesses of crimes. It’s not instead of Farfetch night, it sounds it sounds super scientific and out of this world, but it’s not actually the road.

To the this technique started way back in, in in the early 1920s and 1927, actually with the work of Yvonne Pavlov, the Russian scientists. Yes. It goes all the way at that far back in terms of science, because before. It is a reflex. It’s called the Orenda orienting reflex. And that’s what Yvonne Pavlov discovered serendipitous serendipitously what is experiments with his dogs and his laboratory that were salad salivating at the site of of dog food, but that’s the scientific part, but it evolutionarily speaking, every human being.

From the, from way back until from when the going back to a prehistoric man banned kind man at that stage was equipped with this orienting reflex as a as a means of survival. Because. The orienting reflex, although Pavlov coined the expression back in 1927, it has been in existence for wave way 

Evin Weiss: And what is the orienting reflex for our listeners who don’t know what that is? 

Michel Funicelli: sure. It is a it is a sensory signal sent to or captured by the five senses of a human being. That alerts the the organism in this case, a human being, it alerts the organism to either take a defensive posture reaction or response to a stimuli or take an, a, an epic editive response.

So just imagine that the prehistoric man was walking around. And some African the jungle or or Savannah. And suddenly he heard a crack or he heard a weird noise. He would orientate all of his senses towards that noise to, to either do, to make a determination, whether to. No, the fight or flight engaging in a fight or flee the situation.

If it, if the threat was too big.

Evin Weiss: So it’s a concentration of focus, essentially. 

Michel Funicelli: Oh, sure. Yes. So it’s it all stems from there. And this is quite important to understand that the role of the orienting reflex, because it’s, it is a cerebral reef reflex that every human being is equipped with. So we w you and I live daily or hourly. Every or even every second. And w when we hear words pronounced R or you hear a sound, we see something, we smell something right away.

Our senses are turned to something, and we try to determine what it is so that we can so that we can progress in our daily lives. So that’s that’s the basis of the, of Brayden brainwave analysis.

Evin Weiss: And can brain wave analysis or brain fingerprinting be used at the text, someone line. 

Michel Funicelli: Ah, okay. I’m glad you asked that because brain brainwave analysis has nothing to do with lie detection. It’s the proper terminology to use in relation to brainwave analysis is memory detect. So how does one, how do we get from memory with memory detection, with the brainwave analysis?

So let me go into further detail. So I began by explaining that the first scientific. And the discovery of brainwave analysis began with the work of Yvonne Pavlov in 1927. So then w it took about a good 30 some years until another discovery by another, an American scientist by the name of David lichen who was doing some work in lie detection, buddy, he and his post or doctoral came to the conclusion that that lie detection was too difficult.

So then they flipped the problem upside down and they develop a what they call at the time, a guilty knowledge test. So the guilty knowledge tests, which has now been termed the concealed information test in 1959. Asphalt. A suspect let’s take a suspect of a homicide for instance, and the suspect is known and is apprehended by.

And the police that during the course of their investigation, uncovers a, let’s say a crime weapon left at the scene for argument’s sake. Let’s say there’s a woman stabbed in a house. And the woman has a stab wound pattern around the neck area or clearly visible. And there’s a blood blood covered a knife left at the crime.

And and we have a crime scene itself. Let’s say the female was stabbed in the kitchen for argument’s sake. The police now has a few clues and it’s important at this stage that the police do not leak out that those crucial details because they will, the police will present these these details to the.

And and analyze the physiological response of the suspect and if the suspect recognizes and that’s what. Yeah, that’s where it becomes important. Is how do you measure when someone, if someone recognizes a crucial piece of a probate of evidence. You would present your, the knife, let’s say in with an a, in an assault with an assortment of.

Of other plausible alternatives maybe a baseball bat maybe a gun, a handgun, a hatchet maybe a knife a piece of rope, any any other type of a murder weapon that, that could someone could use to murder. So th that’s the basis of the concealed information tests that David lichen in in Minnesota, I believe where he was working discovered in 1959.

So it’s always the same principle you showed that your S your suspect, a key piece of evidence. And it’s always a sorted, what? A five or six neutral alternatives. So that’s what happened in 1959. So then we need to go a little further, about six years later in 1965, 

Evin Weiss: would be before you continue? So it’s the if the suspect knows that he used a particular weapon and you present him with that weapon and plus an assortment of other ones, how do you determine that the person has a guilty mind or a guilty information as you described it? 

Michel Funicelli: Sure. Okay. I was just getting to that stage at when David Lykken discovered this the steps or he developed a, this test that in 1959 he was using he was using electrodermal activity. That’s one of the, one of the physiological signals that is collected. Through a standard polygraph instrument.

Okay. But I don’t want to get a sidetrack here with the polygraph because people associate a polygraph would lie detection, but it’s a it’s it’s a device. Do you use for different purposes? 

absolutely sure. Yes, absolutely. Because you can use several. A polygraph is only a device that captures signal. Captures various signals from a physiological signal.

So that’s what the, that was the state of science in 1959 when data like, and develop is concealed information. So now let’s move forward. About six years later in 1965 and other key development happened another group of American scientists discovered this peak 300 wave form.

Okay. So what the heck is a P 300 wave form? 

Evin Weiss: That’s one of my questions. What is a P 300 response? 

Michel Funicelli: Okay. Th there’s electricity that occurs in in, in everybody’s brain. Okay. I won’t go into the the neural cognitive or neuro physiological explanation of how this happens, but there is electricity at the neuron level of synapse synapses.

So there’s, there is electricity and there are various waves. That determined something in 1965. The group led by Samuel Sutton discovered that this P 300 wave form meant. Now P 300 means this P for positive. So you have a, you end up with a positive deflection on a graph and a positive and negative.

So P for positive. So you get an upward an upward going inflection of electricity. Okay. And 300 means that somewhere around 300. And now we know a bit more that it And the key reaction that we’re looking for occurs anywhere between 300 to 6, 4, 700 milliseconds after being exposed to a a key a certain stimulus.

So let me give you a concrete example. So you and I are walking down to this. And anywhere city and north America, and then we hear a loud bang. Okay. So we both stop and already we turn our attention to where this noise came from. Okay. So I bring you back to the orienting reflex that you and I, because we’re human beings, we equipped with this because it’s it’s the key words here are that this.

Is became a novel and meaningful steam of stimulus to us. It was not, it was novel to the conversation because you and I are walking down the street and we’re talking about whatever the weather the baseball game yesterday, basketball game. So it’s novel to the, to our conversation.

It’s new to the conversation. So we hear a loud bang and it’s meaningful to us. Both of us say, Hey, w we, and this happens in the a milliseconds, but we both go I, I think I know, was that a gunshot or was that a car backfiring? So it has meaning to us in that sense, that’s that this somewhere in our in our memories we heard that noise before, but we’re quite not sure what it is.

But this would happen if we, if you and I were walking down the street and at the same time we were equipped with the electrodes attached to our scalp and someone would would measure our brain activity with the use of an electroencephalogram. And okay. If you can imagine us walking down the street and someone following us with a bunch of wires attached to our head this is what the experimenter would see the electrical activity.

And he would see a spike of electrical activity at roughly three, 300 to 600 milliseconds beyond the one we were exposed to this loud bang. So that’s where P 300. positive deflection of electricity on a graph about roughly 300 to 600 milliseconds, a post stimulus. So after being exposed to a novel and meaningful stimulus, our attention is.

Automatically to this new stimulus that we want to investigate because we’re not sure what it is going back to the van Pavlov inmate in the end, the prehistoric man should we maybe take a defensive action? If the, if there was a gunshot or maybe there was, there is somebody walking around with a handgun and maybe we should run away or.

Maybe the gunshot is so close that now we it’s too late. We need to take a more maybe offensive action to to tackle whatever threat there is.

Evin Weiss: And so when someone’s asking someone about a crime and they’re attached to these, to this device are you trying to look for that same signature that, that elicited that that P 300 Yes. Absolutely. That’s the gist of the, that’s the gist of the brainwave analysis. It’s a bit more complicated than that, but that’s roughly roughly what the scientists such as myself with. To to detect yes. And then the next to the next two steps or phases in the development of this brainwave technique happened in the late in the last 25 or so years with the the development of a three stimuli protocol.

Michel Funicelli: That another American scientist by the name of Lawrence Farwell developed in 1992, because he thought up until 1992 there was no one had a thought of merging merging the dis P 300 wave and at the try to attack. To this concealed information test or rather the other way around developing the CIT and and see if subject would, would.

We’re the react with a P 300 brainwave in in the forensic application. So we also give credit to Lawrence Farwell who had the thought of, okay, maybe we can apply this to a, into a forensic application merging the CIT that David lichen discovered in 1959. And would this brainwave P 300 wave form that Samuel Sutton discovered in 1965.

So he developed out of that a three stimuli protocol, which was later improved and in 2008, by yet another American neuropsychologist by the name of Peter Rosenfeld out of Northwestern university. And to whom I had the great pleasure. And earlier, and in nine in 2015, when I went to his laboratory to study this technique, and I’m sad to say in passing that Peter Rosenfeld passed away in, in earlier this year in February.

So we owe Peter Rosenfeld a great deal. He was a fantastic man and a great scientist. So he, Peter Rosenfeld. A four stimuli protocol. I’m getting a bit more technical here, but his protocol is a bit more precise in the sense that when a person is seated in front of a computer screen and is presented or flashed with a variety of images.

There’s a certain certain steps to follow along with two miles and one must click left or right. And the button presses of each mouse. But that’s a bit too technical for this type of conversation that we’re having now. But suffice to say that as a result of Peter Rosenfeld’s work, there was a.

Yeah, that’s what I was a great piece of development in 2008. And now some, a decade or so later here I am trying to push this this technique, this line, this technique that I think law enforcement could really take a lot of advantage Yeah, when you said earlier about how you flash images in front of a person, would that also work with a suspect he would flash images and then they would have get a response and it would the picture of the. Weapon be of the one used in the actual crime scene or a different one. 

W well, both. Absolutely. Sure. So again, let’s go back to the example that I raised earlier, this, I put DentiCal homicide of this woman being stabbed around the neck area. And you have the police as a suspect in custody and the suspect would be before the interview. That’s really crucial here 

Evin Weiss: It’s before the interview. 

Michel Funicelli: Yes, because you don’t want to contaminate the the suspect’s memory. Just suppose that the detectives were not Competent enough, let’s say, and let’s say they, they would interview the suspect and show him a paper copy of a of photographs of the crime scene, the neck, wounds, the knife, and then subsequently the interview.

Then you would do this memory detection test. It wouldn’t take a smart lawyer. But just to say of course you detected the memory of my client because he encoded the image of the brain, the weapon, when you, an hour ago, when the police interviewed him and showed them the photographs.

So that’s why it’s important that this test be conducted on a suspect before an interview.

Evin Weiss: It’s like a pre-interview. Is it, how reliable is it? Is it used can it be used in courts and is it currently being used in criminal investigator? 

Michel Funicelli: Okay. So it is quite a bit quite a bit to unpack in your questions. Is it reliable? I would say yes. But so far th there’s still quite a bit of work left to be. ’cause all the work that Peter Rosenfeld did at Northwestern university or con we’re done with university undergraduate students that are normally healthy and young.

We do not have any data with With suspects that may have been under the influence of alcohol drugs or maybe maybe I’m suffering from a, any kind of mental disorders, schizophrenia, psychopathy, for instance. So we don’t want to have any in any of this data because all the work has been done so far in a laboratory setting.

So that’s that’s the answer to your question about being reliable? I think it is upwards to the knee up upwards to the mid to upper 90%. I, myself, in my case, I was the second researcher to ever validate independently Peter Rosenfeld. The first, the very first a scientist to independently validated Peter Rosenfeld’s work is a Dr.

Gas bar, Lou CAC, eh, an Austrian scientist and a company with the another other European scientists. So I’m the second to independently validate Peter Rosenfeld’s protocol. Now it’s always been done in a laboratory setting with undergraduates. But I, I argue right at now at this point where we’re at that we’re ready to move.

I say we we, in the sense that there’s a handful of scientists around the world that that are research in this technique, but we’re, I feel ready to move to field testing and this would require. At this point, the collaboration of law enforcement agencies. And now your other question was whether it was you, it is used in court.

The short answer is no simply because it lacks so far as I said, we lack the data from from a field experience. However, there, there are, there have been a few attempts to bring such evidence before a tribunal and Lauren’s Farwell made such an attempt in a before a tribunal in Iowa, I believe in a criminal trial at criminal trial.

But I’m not too. I don’t remember quite well, the exact details of the of the case in question I believe it was a a decades old murder where the murder suspect was convicted and Lawrence Farwell in his defense counsel was trying to overturn the conviction. I believe that was the case but the judge, if, from what I remember.

Did not entirely accept the evidence of this technique. American courts and I’m a scientist in Canada and our, the Canadian Supreme court accepted the same or roughly the same. The same criteria is that the U S Supreme. How has put forth in a in a Seminole case in the early 1990s, I believe called Dobber versus Merrill pharmaceuticals.

So that, that was a very important case in us jurisprudence where the court, the us Supreme court, the identity. Four or five key criteria that a new scientific technique has have had to meet before it was presented and accepted in a criminal trial. So we’re at that stage right now, or we’re at the tipping point, I would say where it would not take much more research and it certainly would not take 20, 30 years of research to have this technique presented by by a prosecutor in court.

Evin Weiss: Interesting. And that’s interesting because I think that’d be an interesting technique to use on criminal investigations.

Th the testing and the data collection that you require for it to be approved is you would have to do it with hundreds of people or thousands of people I’m assuming in different emotional states. Because when you’re, before you interview a suspect, I’m assuming they’re like in this very emotionally charged kind of mental space.

Michel Funicelli: Sure. Certainly that would have to be such a test would have to be conducted in a very controlled environment. So you certain you would not have. Contrary to popular belief, you would not want an overexcited person in front of you. You would want that person really calm, collected. And so if a suspect is arrested by the police and the suspect is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, I certainly wouldn’t.

Want to test that person. I would want to wait a few hours until that person is is clear or or of any effects of 

Or alcohol that the person has taken.

Evin Weiss: And what if the person commits a crime while inebriated, where with the P 300 response be blunted and somehow contaminate the responsible. 

Michel Funicelli: Good question. The answer to the. We simply don’t know yet. That’s something that could certainly be tested in a laboratory or maybe in a pseudo field experiment, you know how I’m sure that the, I was a police officer before with the Royal Canadian mounted. For over 30 years I’ve and I’ve investigated the serious offenses throughout my career.

Is it plausible that a suspect who has committed that say a homicide and under the influence of alcohol or drugs and then is arrested and men and perhaps has no memory? Yes, it is certainly plausible. Now how.

Evin Weiss: since a lot of crime, most of the crimes are done under the influence of alcohol. 

Michel Funicelli: Yeah, sure. Certainly, but one must remember that this technique is not a panacea to. 

Evin Weiss: Right. 

Michel Funicelli: But it is just, of course it has its limitation, its own limitation, its inherent limitations of course, but like any other forensic technique to detect or collect any piece of evidence be it ballistics, be it fingerprints even.

All of these techniques have their own limitation in our ballistic ballistics forensic example. If if the bullet itself hits goes through the human being or he even hits a bone inside the body, depending on the caliber, it could be damaged to the point that a comparison is really difficult to do under in the laboratory.

The same thing with fingerprints. There’s always a margin of error somewhere. Now, as your time as a police officer or the Royal Canadian mounted police, did you encounter in this. She’s a little, we’re going to pivot a little bit to something else, but it’s still on the same vein. Did you see, did you encounter psychopaths and how common were they when these crimes were committed and being a psychopath where your emotional response again is blunted I guess you would have to account for that and that this kind of testing to. 

Okay. There’s a couple of couple of questions in there. Yes, I w I want to say yes, that I’ve encountered psychopaths throughout my career, but the thing is I realized that in retrospect, because I feel. I say this in retrospect because I completed my PhD only last year.

So I’m thinking back of the the suspects that I would have interviewed or investigated. And now with the knowledge that I have now I applied that in, in a red. Yes, I backtrack. And I said, oh this guy that I interviewed so many years, No, he he must have, he appears to have the key characteristics of a psychopath 

Evin Weiss: I th I think it should be a part of a formal train as a police officer to detect these kinds of these kinds of people, honestly. 

Michel Funicelli: sure, absolutely. I, of course every police detective should at least get in a certain kind of basic training on how to detect psychopaths because. I want to answer quickly about your question about the P 300. There, there has been very little done in terms of testing this particular brainwave, which is which is by the way, let’s not forget it’s a memory reflex.

So it’s your organism that re that reacts in a reflective. To being exposed to a certain stimulus. So my, even though we have very scant amount of scientific literature on that in the domain of a psychopath and how it be 300. I would venture a guess. And it’s only a guess an educated guess that psychopaths would not react any differently than uni than a non psychopath person, simply because, like I said, I’m repeating myself, but the P 300 is a reflexive response to a particular novel and meaningful stigma.

Yeah, it has nothing. It has very little to do with emotion.

Evin Weiss: right, so it’s more of a limbic kind of like very low level response. The memory aspect is important in the, in, in how, or how deep a certain event is encoded into your memory. But here we’re at the we’re at the testing stage of detecting any memory trace. 


Michel Funicelli: Into your memory. So it depends how deeply your event. Like I bring back the event you and I walking down the street and we hear a loud bang.

So we would be tested after the fact. So this, so it’s it depends on how deeply encoded this special event is encoded to our. So suppose that you and I are really drunk and we’re walking down the street and maybe we heard a bang, but it didn’t really register into our brain. So maybe the alcohol that we consume affected our memory and coding of that particular stimulus.

And after the fact, if you feel an IRR tested by the police on this with this stick, that memory detection technique maybe because it was poorly encoded to start. Maybe it would be difficult for the P 300 to be, to detect to be detected by that same P 300 brainwave. So you follow the

Evin Weiss: Or if you’re a soldier who’s who’s used to like loud bangs in the,

middle of nowhere. It might 

Michel Funicelli: perhaps.

Evin Weiss: So going back to the psychopath stuff. So you only, in retrospect, do you remember certain suspects being psychopaths and things like that? And what have you learned now that you’ve studied this?

And how would you recommend police departments all around north America, north of north America to update their protocols on dealing with suspects in terms of these behavioral? Oh, of course. I’m glad you asked that question because where I would think that the police could begin using this technique is with eye witnesses now. So far up until now during this interview we’ve always talked about this technique being used with crime suspects. Okay. So I think. This technique could be used with a crime.

Michel Funicelli: And I witnessed a crime. Okay. So you and I are walking down the street again, when we hear this loud bang and suppose that this loud bang is the result of a gunshot, because we happen to be walking by a jewelry store that was. Okay. And there’s a gunshot that was fired in the course of this robbery.

So you and I, we, this just. We’re an eye witness to this armed robbery of a jewelry store. And the suspect just ran, runs out at the jewelry store, right in front of us. We have a clear look at who he is and he runs away and he goes off into the sunset. He’s late. He is later apprehended by the police through whatever investigative means that they use.

And so you and I are with our, and I witness to this armed robbery. And then now we’re called in by the police to determine whether we can identify this armed robber. So of course, where we cooperate with the police and, but we want to identify the right man. So now, right now every day every week in in, in the world for that matter the typical way for police detectives to to to verify whether a night witness as rec or recognizes the key suspect is that they, the police detective would prepare a photo lineup or a photo array or photo parade.

It’s different terminology, but. It all is the same thing. And it, and surprisingly, you know what I explained to you, what the concealed information test was before nor showing one, one probe item, a crime component, a key component, and assorted do it another well, a affordable parade is just the same thing.

So the photograph of your suspect of your main suspect would be. To us as eye witnesses, as sorted. What other similar looking males, same age group skin color, et cetera. Okay. So now this, today, this is the technique that the police normally used and I’ve built the hundreds of those photo parade during the course of my investigations, what I argue is that this technique could be used in eyewitnesses for a couple of, for a couple of years.

We know that from the scientific literature on eyewitness MIS identification that I witnessed, MIS identification is responsible for about 71% of wrongful convictions. Okay. Yes, it’s that high it, and this is a study. This is a study by Sachs and cold. From 2005. 71% is quite high. And we know that I witness testimony or eye witness evidence is quite subject to is fragiles is subject to all kinds of other elements that could skew the memory of the eyewitness.

I argue that using this technique could provide investigators with a reliable and objective quantitative measure of memory recognition. So let me unpack what I’ve just said. We know that the protocol that I’ve learned out of Northwestern university from Dr. Rosenfeld, I think it is a reliable instrument.

It does provide. The examiner me in this case it does provide me what a a an objective quantifiable measure of memory recognition. So I end up with as a result of when I test my, my, my persons, my participants in my experiments, I, after the fact I conduct a statistical analysis.

I won’t go into the explanation of it. It’s a bit too complicated for this podcast, but I ended up with a figure, a quantitative figure in in over and over a hundred. So it’s either 85, 90, 95, 90 8%. So that tells me quantitatively, whether a person is 90%. 85 or 75 or maybe 50, who knows a positive that he or she has a memory recognition of that of seeing that the photo that shown to him.

So instead of nowadays when witnesses are shown, are showing the photo parade and now the detective let’s go back to my example that you and I are walking down the street where eye witnesses to this jewelry armed robbery. So the detectives prepare a photo parade. They show us copies of photographs of the suspect assortment assorted with other similar looking guys.

And then we’re asked a question. Okay. So you and I can only answer are you okay if it is him or her or I’m pretty sure it’s him or any kind of any kind of subjective statement that would that would encompass our answer. But it is it is when we say, when we provide us such a subjective statements such as, I’m pretty sure it’s him, we’re doing a self-evaluation.

Of our own memory reliability, mean memory capacity to do a re reliably recognize the photo. We’re doing a self, eh self-assessment of our memory capacity. So what I’m saying is this. You would not need that. So we were using an electroencephalogram, a very scientific instrument to measure the brainwave activity of a person.

And as a result of a statistical analysis, after the afterwards, we would get a number out of a hundred eighty five ninety five, a 100 or maybe 50, and maybe the person does not recognize the individual. So that’s what I’m saying. It would be a much more precise, reliable way of of drawing out evidence from an eyewitness.

Evin Weiss: So far now that I’ve heard this and I’ve, you’ve given me a really good broad overview of this, I think. Definitely used. If handwriting analysis is used by the FBI than I certainly think this can be used. 

Michel Funicelli: I think the my, my biggest challenge is is is the police culture. I know the police culture quite well. Having spent 33 years in law enforcement and in Canada, and I’ve had many occasions to, to To work with American counterparts and some other European counterparts during international investigations in the course of my career.

So I, I think the challenge is to convince police, to use, or to use that to accept this technique into their toolbox. The biggest challenge right now is police culture because. The go to, and I hate to go back to the polygraph, but I must the go-to technique to, to assess credibility is the polygraph.

That’s the go-to technique in north America. It is not the case for police forces in Australia, where I used to teach in policing. And it is not the case. In some countries. So maybe maybe Australian police or some European based police forces might be more amenable in terms of culturally speaking to accept this kind of a technique into their toolbox, but there’s a lot more work to be done in a Canadian police forces and certainly American police forces.

Evin Weiss: That’s very interesting. What will you just said right now? It’s very powerful. Now. H how do you think you could affect that change in terms of actually introducing this into a investigation? 

Michel Funicelli: Through a lot of networking, I was thinking maybe. Through through opportunities that you are offering, maybe there’s a, maybe it’s as a chief of police listening right now, or will be listening to this podcast in the future. And maybe he he, or she would invite me to show my, 

Evin Weiss: great. 

Michel Funicelli: I am, by the way, I should mention that I am presenting at a.

I had a conference in the, to be held in Arlington, Texas at the end of September. Do you have the exact date and time so our audience can know 

I’m not sure it’s open to the public. 

Evin Weiss: oh, I see. It’s only for police department. 

Michel Funicelli: Sure. It’s a, it’s the society for police and criminal psychology are men members that saw a desire. Oh, most of the speakers that we’ll be presenting that conference. And I now was I’m happy to say that I was one of the invited. To present on this the subject.

But I tried in the past, when I was doing my PhD, I proposed such a presentation to the international chiefs, international association of chiefs of police. The Canadian association of chiefs of police. No they hold the annual conferences. Unfortunately I was not invited, but I will keep knocking on doors.

But in the meantime, I’ll call, try to continue my research. It’s unfortunately the some police chiefs want want the result to be that it is accepted in court already. So this is like putting the cart before the horse. Like I said, in my, earlier in one of an answering one of your questions, whether it was this technique was used in court.

And I have to say no because that’s, it hasn’t been fully accepted by a tribunal yet in north America. And so before we get. We need more research. How do we get more research? We’re at this point, we’ve done all kinds of experiments in laboratory settings, but we need to move into a field research.

And for this particular type of technique, unfortunately, we need collaboration of law enforcement. It’s not a technique that you can you can easily conduct in a laboratory on because of ethical consideration. Now you can just imagine we that all the techniques, all the ethical rules that we guidelines and rules and regulations that the researchers nowadays have to abide by.

Evin Weiss: It almost seems to me like another avenue to maybe get this kind of accepted is if you pair it up with some sort of RF artificial intelligence analysis of the results and give it more. Probability of being accepted. And also not only the P 300 response, but maybe you could do like micro changes and eye movement and other things like that.


Michel Funicelli: I’m glad you brought that up because in the course of my PhD is. I did. I did try that in a short, very short experiment using a, an eye tracking device. Yep. And yeah. And the eye tracking or eye movement, I should say works similarly to the to to how the electrical brainwaves operates or the.

It’s a bit very, it’s very complicated to explain, but your eyes would would be drawn to a particular part of the photograph shown to you and there, and we could measure fixations and cycads the fixations as the nub, the length of time that your eye is. Is focusing on a certain point or points of a particular stimulus and the are the the movement from fixation to fixation.

So they say the tip of my nose is somebody fixate fixates on my nose. And then my cheek showed from the nut, from the nose to my cheek is a cycad in terms of eye tracking. So I know that. Eye tracking technology and electrical and civil graphy can be merged together. But again, that’s a bit more technical yeah.

In terms of programming and sort of both machines after talk to each other.

Evin Weiss: Interesting. But yeah, it seems like that would be a cool, a very powerful tool to also add it together and maybe hook it up to an EKG. And I’m just going be 

Michel Funicelli: let’s not get too carried away,

Evin Weiss: EKG to see if there’s any premature ventricular contractions when someone’s asked a question or something, 

Michel Funicelli: but Martin, but much, much more simple, simpler than that. I just want to conclude with with lightly. With the possible application of this technique into a lie detection. broader technique. Let’s just say, for example, that I’m accused of raping Mary and Mary to me is a complete stranger.

So it’s a stranger to stranger sexual assault. So I could be tested first someone that detective would I’m arrested and I’m shown I’m shown affordable. Or rather in and tested with the photograph of memory Mary’s face. Just like it’s like reversing affordable for a parade.

Like we, like I explained to you earlier about our, my example, my, my hypothetical example with armed robbery of the jewelry store. So you you would show the face of the victim to the suspect. Again, first of all, the suspect would be tested with the, by showing that the photo of the the victim.

Brainwave analysis and everything. And then afterwards he’s interviewed the suspect is interviewed. Depending on the results. So suppose we get a very high percentage of the memory recognition index from the suspect about Mary my, so my brain. Has shown that that I’ve encoded into my memory, the face of Mary, the person, I’m the person I am alleged to have raped.

So afterwards I’m interviewed. Okay. And the detective shows me a photograph of Mary, and then he says, have you ever seen this person? And suppose I say, Nope, I’ve never seen this person in my. So now the detective is armed with the very strong evidence to show the contrary, because earlier I was tested through a brainwave through this brainwave analysis technique and the person who tested me to with by Astro conducting a statistical analysis.

Ish as shown that my brain has clearly re recorded into memory Mary’s face. So now I’m interviewed later by this detective who’s asked me, have you ever seen this person before? And I say, no. I’ve just lied. My, my brain as a shown, otherwise. So in that context, it could be used in terms of a lie detection machine or instrument.

Evin Weiss: Are there any other topics that you want to discuss that I might have not touched on? 

Michel Funicelli: No, I think we’ve covered pretty much everything. And I’m really glad that you invited me on your show and I’ve been able to share this really interesting knowledge and scientific. Development and psychophysiology to your audience.

Evin Weiss: Yes. Yes, no, this is a very interesting subject. And I think it’s like you said there’s, there might be a detective listening or a head of a police force and he’d be interested in probably contacting you. And on that note, Michael food Gianelli where can people find out more information about you and how can people come. 

Michel Funicelli: They, I do not have a website, but people can contact me through my LinkedIn page at Michelle dot funy Charlie. I left link on the LinkedIn platform

Evin Weiss: Okay, Michael, thank you for being on the show. I appreciate it. 

Michel Funicelli: and you’re very welcome.

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Discussion with Harvard Astronomer Avi Loeb

Evin Weiss: Avi, welcome to the show. How are you?  Avi Loeb: Thanks for having me. I’m great.  Evin Weiss: Awesome. And what part of the country are you living in or do you operate from? Avi Loeb: Boston. And since the pandemic I’ve been

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