It was only a matter of time.... It appears that a custodial parent is seeking to present fMRI evidence that he is being truthful, in the context of a child protection hearing, when he reports that he did not sexually abuse his child.
The details are still sketchy. Emily Murphy reports that "The defense plans to claim the fMRI-based lie detection (or 'truth verification') technology is accurate and generally accepted within the relevant scientific community in part by narrowly defining the relevant community as only those who research and develop fMRI-based lie detection." She goes on to explain why this would seem to be an odd choice.
Indeed, it would be surprising if the court adopted this interpretation and even more surprising if the court admitted the evidence, even in a non-jury proceeding. Assuming that the court does not hear the evidence, one might speculate as to who benefits here: Perhaps the parent benefits by seeming willing to try a new approach to lie detection in order to demonstrate his truthfulness. One might not expect a parent who violated the law to seek out extraordinary measures to clear himself (but who knows?). Perhaps his attorney benefits by being the first to seek to introduce such evidence (so far as we know). Perhaps No Lie MRI (the company which ran the tests) benefits from the publicity, even if it gets an unfavorable decision about the evidence. Perhaps Cephos (another company that sells fMRI-based lie detection services) benefits by being the No-Lie-MRI-competitor that has not yet had its evidence deemed inadmissible (so far as we know).
In any event, I'm sure we'll hear more about this and gain more details in the near future. Here's a link to Emily's post.