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Your Brain's ­nique Response to Words Can Reveal Your Identity


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The human brain.

Security systems could use brainwaves to verify the identities of individuals, according to new research.

Credit: Wellcome Images/flickr

New research by Basque Center on Cognition, Brain, and Language's Blair Armstrong suggests security systems could use brainwaves to verify the identity of individuals.

Armstrong and colleagues recorded the brain signals of 45 volunteers as they read a list of 75 acronyms, and then used computer programs to detect differences between individuals. The team reports the programs identified the participants with about 94 percent accuracy when it repeated the experiment.

Armstrong's approach makes it easier to pick up clear brain signals because it focuses on the region of the brain associated with the task of reading and recognizing words. The technique is based on semantic memories, which simply record the meanings of particular words and do not change too much over time. Identities could be verified continuously with the technique. In theory, someone could interact with many computers simultaneously, or with different intelligent objects, without having to repeatedly enter passwords for each device.

Armstrong believes the method could be developed into a more personal, tougher to compromise alternative to fingerprint recognition or iris scanning in security systems.

From New Scientist
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