Facial skin surface temperature changes during a "concealed information" test

Dean A. Pollina, Andrew B. Dollins, Stuart M. Senter, Troy E. Brown, Ioannis Pavlidis, James A. Levine, Andrew H. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


When individuals who commit a crime are questioned, they often show involuntary physiological responses to remembered details of that crime. This phenomenon is the basis for the concealed information test, in which rarely occurring crime-related details are embedded in a series of more frequently occurring crime-irrelevant items while respiratory, cardiovascular, and electrodermal responses are recorded. Two experiments were completed to investigate the feasibility of using facial skin surface temperature (SST) measures recorded using high definition thermographic images as the physiological measure during a concealed information test. Participants were randomly assigned to nondeceptive or deceptive groups. Deceptive participants completed a mock-crime paradigm. A focal plane array thermal imaging radiometer was used to monitor SST while crime-relevant and crime-irrelevant items were verbally presented to each participant. During both experiments, there were significant facial SST differences between deceptive and nondeceptive participants early in the analysis interval. In the second experiment, hemifacial (i.e., "half-face" divided along the longitudinal axis) effects were combined with the bilateral responses to correctly classify 91.7% of participants. These results suggest that thermal image analysis can be effective in discriminating deceptive and nondeceptive individuals during a concealed information test.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1182-1189
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavior/Physiologic behavior
  • Face temperature
  • Imaging/Infrared thermography
  • Polygraph

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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