On November 21st, 2020, a team of CBI officers who were investigating the reported rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit girl in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, arrived at the Gandhinagar based Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) with the four accused, for conducting a Brain Electrical Oscillation Signature Profiling (BEOSP) test on all four.

On Monday, all the accused faced medical tests to certify that they are fit for the BEOSP test. Both the teams of CBI and forensic experts at the FSL came together to study the case and prepare “probes” short questions for the BEOSP test.

The other name for BEOSP is brain fingerprinting. It is a neuropsychological method of interrogation in which the brain’s response of the accused is studied while their participation in the crime is investigated. The process of the electroencephalogram is the study of the electrical behavior of the human brain, and is used in the BEOSP test.

Like any other test, in this test also the consent of the accused is taken before performing the test and then they are asked to wear caps which has dozens of electrodes attached to it. Further, the accused are shown audiovisuals relating to the crime they performed to check if there is any triggering of neurons in their brains which then generate brainwaves. After the notation of brain waves, the test results are studied to determine the participation of the accused in a crime.

In conversation with the force, one of the senior officials of the Gujarat Directorate of Forensic Science said, “just to be fair, we also prepare probes on the basis of the accused’s alibis and then put in front of them two hypotheses to solicit their brain’s reaction. The basis of tests is the phenomenons of ‘knowledge’ and ‘experience’. Here the experience that goes inside the brain of the accused even after having the knowledge of the crime committed and the alibi they have, their participation in the crime determines their guilt.”

The BEOSP test does not involve the regular question-answer session with the accused but is rather a neuropsychological study of the accused’s brain. A polygraph test takes into account the accused person’s physiological indicators, which are blood pressure, pulse rate, respiration, and skin conductivity. A person can manipulate these indicators by controlling themselves and therefore the BEOSP test offers more reliable results.

The latest cutting-edge technologies and advancements that are used in FSL make it more lucrative to other states and therefore cases are referred here.