Reading the Sleeping Mind: Empirical and Legal Considerations

Ewout H. Meijer, Dave A.G. van Toor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


Legal evaluations of brain imaging-based memory detection typically take into account the voluntary nature of the test. In this chapter, we will discuss to what extent the legal arguments change if memory detection could be administered in other states of consciousness, specifically in sleeping participants. It is argued that the biological trace—i.e. The recording of brain activity—exists independently of the will of the suspect and therefore receives less protection under the european convention of human rights. The cognitive trace—that discloses the content of memories—however, is considered dependent of the will of the suspect, and memory detection during sleep constitutes unlawfully circumventing the right to remain silent.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeurolaw
Subtitle of host publicationAdvances in Neuroscience, Justice & Security
EditorsSjors Ligthart, Dave van Toor, Tijs Kooijmans, Thomas Douglas, Gerben Meynen
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783030692773
ISBN (Print)9783030692766, 9783030692797
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

SeriesPalgrave Studies in Law, Neuroscience, and Human Behavior

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