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With more than 100 influential papers on the topic, Dr. Kang Lee is a world leading authority on children’s cognitive development and lying. His discoveries and developments have contributed to reforms in Canadian law concerning the obtainment of evidence from children. Since 2005 prior to testifying, child witnesses under 14 years of age in all criminal cases must undergo a procedure that is based on the work by his team.
Dr. Lee is a University Distinguished Professor at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study at OISE, at the University of Toronto. While much of his research is focused on moral development in children, he has also channeled his expertise on human face processing into a game-changing versatile technology, Transdermal Optical Imaging. TOI uses a conventional video camera to reveal facial blood flow changes when people are experiencing various hidden emotions, including emotions associated with lying.
Dr. Lee is the Chief Science Officer and co-founder of NuraLogix, a start-up which offers the commercial application of TOI for market research, security purposes, and other clients who wish to apply it to their line of work.
Professor Kang Lee of the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) is a global leader in research that is changing the way we detect emotion and behavior such as lying.
Now, his startup Nuralogix is taking that research a step further. Consumer-facing market research studies require a group of people, a product or service for them to experience, and methodology to collect and analyze their feedback. For companies requesting consumer insight to influence a product’s attributes, packaging or promotion, accurate information can make the difference between success and failure.
The catch? The best market research exercises can’t consistently determine when people lie. Well-intentioned subjects may do so to please the interviewer, lie to omit inconsistent information or genuinely misjudge their deeper physiological and emotional responses.
Thanks to the first commercial application for a new patent-pending process to reveal both visible and hidden facial emotions using blood-flow analysis, developed by Lee, market researchers and their clients are one step closer to acquiring more accurate, reliable data.
Lee is a developmental neuroscientist who studies social cognition and behavior, their underlying cognitive-cultural-neural mechanisms, and the development of social perception, focusing on face processing and deception. His work was recently profiled by CBC News. On Feb. 18, 2016, Lee spoke at TED Vancouver about his research.
The invitation to TED’s global event came on the heels of his successful Tedx U of T talk, “Little Liars: Insights from Children’s Lies.”
Dr. Kang Lee debunks three popular beliefs about children and lying. Incorporating footage of his studies and amusing real-life examples, he reveals that children are actually much better at lying than we realize and that this ability is a normal milestone indicative of strong self-control rather than a stigmatized future as a pathological liar.
Dr. Lee reveals that his team has developed a new imaging technology capable of detecting changes in blood flow associated with different emotions: such technology could be used not only to detect lies in children in court cases, but also anxiety in students, stress in the elderly, and even honesty in politicians. "Transdermal optical imaging technology is at a very early stage of development," he announces. "Many new applications will come about that we don't know today."
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