Countering countermeasures: detecting identity lies by detecting conscious breakthrough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Kent
  • NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, Breda, The Netherlands
  • University of Cambridge


One major drawback of deception detection is its vulnerability to countermeasures, whereby participants wilfully modulate their physiological or neurophysiological response to critical guilt-determining stimuli. One reason for this vulnerability is that stimuli are usually presented slowly. This allows enough time to consciously apply countermeasures, once the role of stimuli is determined. However, by increasing presentation speed, stimuli can be placed on the fringe of awareness, rendering it hard to perceive those that have not been previously identified, hindering the possibility to employ countermeasures. We tested an identity deception detector by presenting first names in Rapid Serial Visual Presentation and instructing participants to lie about their own identity. We also instructed participants to apply a series of countermeasures. The method proved resilient, remaining effective at detecting deception under all countermeasures.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e90595
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2014


  • Consciousness, Lie Detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas