Armstrong lies analysed by researchers to catch future cheats (video)

New lie detector software used to analyse disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong could be introduced to keep doping cheats out of the sport.

Researchers who wanted to test their software and needed film of someone who was lying and telling the truth have used Lance Armstrong as their test subject.

Three different 2005 video clips of  Armstrong were put through the computer. In each clip he denied that he was doping.

The researchers then put film of his eventual confession, taken from the Oprah Winfrey show, through the same analysis.

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The computer wasn’t told which clips were untruthful and which were honest but Armstrong’s unwitting micro-expressions, head movements and gaze patterns from all of them were listed and ranked automatically by the software.

It revealed consistent patterns of behaviour.

When he was lying, the computer showed his expressions and movements were less animated.

The firm and steadfast glare aimed at Paul Kimmage, evident in “The Armstrong Story – Stop at Nothing” movie, was one example.

Among the few, subtle patterns that Armstrong unwittingly repeated when lying were shaking his head, blinking and pressing his lips together. The computer noted a significant number of these movements and the researchers say they happened in interviews when he lied about cheating.

Researchers say the new lie detection method could play a part in keeping the sport clean from now on.

It “might be an effectve strategy to detect nonverbal features of deception, integrated with more traditional and established practice, in order to improve anti-doping measures,” they added.

Max Glaskin is the author of Cycling Science
Twitter: @cyclingscience1