By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 5:27 PM on 12th July 2010
It is often said that people who lie cannot help but give it away by the look in their eyes.
Now scientists are developing a lie detector that can tell if someone is telling the truth by monitoring the movement of their eyes.
Researchers are using eye-tracking technology to pioneer a promising alternative to the traditional polygraph for lie detection.
Using eye movement to detect lies works in a different way to conventional polygraph testing. Instead of measuring a person’s emotional reaction to lying, eye-tracking technology measures the person’s cognitive reaction.
To do so, the researchers record a number of measurements while a subject is answering a series of true-and-false questions on a computer. The measurements include pupil dilation, response time, reading and rereading time, and errors.
The researchers determined that lying requires more work than telling the truth, so they look for indications that the subject is working hard.
For example, a person who is being dishonest may have dilated pupils and take longer to read and answer the questions.
These reactions are often minute and require sophisticated measurement and statistical modeling to determine their significance.
Besides measuring a different type of response, eye-tracking methods for detecting lies has several other benefits over the polygraph.
‘The eye-tracking method for detecting lies has great potential,’ Gerald Sanders, one of the venture capitalists who have licensed the technology from the University of Utah.
‘It’s a matter of national security that our government agencies have the best and most advanced methods for detecting truth from fiction, and we believe we are addressing that need by licensing the extraordinary research done at the University of Utah.’
Tracking eye movement to detect lies became possible in recent years because of substantial improvements in technology. The Utah researchers say they are the first to develop and assess the software and methods for applying these tests effectively.
Eye tracking promises to cost substantially less, require one-fifth of the time currently needed for examinations, and it is available in any language.