Liar, liar, scans on fire: fMRI could have predicted Madoff would break promises


Just one year ago, on Dec. 11, 2008, FBI agents went to Bernard Madoff's house to arrest one of the most notorious white-collar criminals in history, a man who has pulled off the largest Ponzi scheme ever, swindling his clients out of an estimated at $19.4 billion. Well, what if those clients could have discovered ahead of time -- through a simple brain scan -- that Madoff wouldn't keep his promises?

Here's where a science fiction concept becomes science fact. New-found patterns in brain activity can actually reveal whether someone intends to keep his (or her) word, scientists say. While the researchers thought this technology would be useful to determine the true intentions of criminals who are up for early release on parole, I can think of other uses -- mainly on Wall Street.