“Brainprints” Can Identify an Individual out of a Crowd with 99 Percent Accuracy

We all suspect we’re unique, and methods for identifying individuals, whether by examining fingerprints or strands of DNA, confirm this conviction. A recent study shows that each person’s mind also exhibits a distinct pattern that could be used as a distinguishing feature with near-perfect accuracy. The researchers, led by Emily Finn of Yale University, relied on functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI) to examine brain activity in 126 healthy young adults. A “connectivity profile” was then created for each subject based on an estimate of the strength of connections between every pair of nodes in a network of 268, representing various brain regions. These fingerprintlike profiles identified participants with 94 percent accuracy. The team then looked at groups of nodes that correspond with networks dedicated to visual, motor or other tasks to…


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