Notus NeuroCogs™ tailors fMRI for legal use

fMRI is a new technology available to legal professionals with clients who need more substantive information about their cognitive status, whether trying to prove a normally functioning brain, damage or cognitive decline in the brain, or to ascertain effects from substances, trauma, injury, or otherwise. Notus provides its legal clients with specialized fMRI reports as well as scientific support contoured to litigational activity.

In summary, fMRI provides a much more comprehensive look at brain function than other technologies and is the merging of cognitive assessment and imaging sciences. The Notus fMRI test battery, known as Notus NeuroCogs™, is backed by a corresponding normative database; thus test results show how close to or far from “normal” a test subject is, similar to how a Blood Panel, Toxicology Screen, or a Body Mass Index works. Because of this, Notus NeuroCogs™ provides an insight not found in other cognitive assessment or imaging modalities.

Learn more about how fMRI works.     

fMRI can support the claim of a normally functioning brain

The most important aspect of the brain is its ability to function properly. Whether or not a brain has damaged tissue, atrophy, lesions, or other defects falls secondary to how the brain is actually functioning, and several recent case studies have attested to that fact. (See cases about dementia and post-surgical brain function assessment for simple examples). With a concurrent normative database for all six comprehensive fMRI tests, Notus NeuroCogs™ emerges as a valuable and objective tool for assessing cognitive functioning.

fMRI can detect brain pathology where conventional MRI often does not

fMRI is often a more sensitive method for detecting brain injury than standard MRI. This may be especially important for certain classes of patients—such as those with mild traumatic brain injury—who display clear symptoms of cognitive and neurological impairment, but show no obvious brain tissue damage on standard MRI scans.

There are obvious consequences for this in legal settings. For example, imagine a client who reports persistent neurological and cognitive symptoms of brain injury, but because standard imaging methods have failed to reveal obvious brain damage, the validity of the client’s claims are brought into question. In this case, fMRI might provide a unique and powerful source of clinical evidence to substantiate such a claim.

Given this strong clinical potential one might wonder if a patient would be able to manipulate his or her performance during a functional MRI brain scan to produce an abnormal outcome.

Under appropriate test conditions, such as those provided by the NotusNeuroCogs™ exam battery, fMRI provides robust protection against patient-manipulated outcomes. Details for how this protection against malingering is accomplished for each test can be found in recent technical Notus publications, and can be provided in a summarized and lay-accessible format for the use of presentation and supporting documentation in legal settings.

The bottom line: Short of refusing to do the fMRI tasks altogether, it is simply impossible to manipulate one’s own brain activation patterns in order to appear abnormal.


Learn more about fMRI.   

See the latest publication about Notus NeuroCogs™ in the courtroom     READ MORE —>

Read a forensic case study of fMRI in action.    CASE STUDY —>

Let us show you how fMRI can work for your legal practice.    CONTACT US —>