A mock terrorism application of the P300-based concealed information test

John B. Meixner*, J. Peter Rosenfeld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Previous studies examining the P300-based concealed information test typically tested for mock crime or autobiographical details, but no studies have used this test in a counterterrorism scenario. Subjects in the present study covertly planned a mock terrorist attack on a major city. They were then given three separate blocks of concealed information testing, examining for knowledge of the location, method, and date of the planned terrorist attack, using the Complex Trial Protocol (Rosenfeld et al., 2008). With prior knowledge of the probe items, we detected 12/12 guilty subjects as having knowledge of the planned terrorist attack with no false positives among 12 innocent subjects. Additionally, we were able to identify 10/12 subjects and among them 20/30 crime-related details with no false positives using restricted a priori knowledge of the crime details, suggesting that the protocol could potentially identify future terrorist activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-154
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Complex Trial Protocol
  • Concealed information test (CIT)
  • Deception
  • P300

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry


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