A popular school of thought, dramatized in the recent TV drama Lie to Me, is that a careful study of facial expressions-especially eye movements-tells investigators if a perp is dissembling. Reality is neither as dramatic nor as decisive. Even experienced investigators average only about a 65 percent success rate, according to researchers. Could computers do a better job?
Researchers at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York (U.B.), claim their video-analysis software can analyze eye movement successfully to identify whether or not a subject is fibbing 82.5 percent of the time. The researchers, who first presented their (still unpublished) results at the 2011 IEEE International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition a year ago, believe they have laid the foundation for a more extensive study that will include a larger sample and take into account body language in addition to eye movement to determine whether new technologies can help interrogators in their search for the truth.