Spotting a terrorist – The Boston Globe

Metal detectors, X-ray machines, and dogs are used at security checkpoints to look for bombs. Now a next-generation technology under development in Cambridge will look for the bomber.

With funding from the US Department of Homeland Security, Draper Laboratory and other collaborators are building technology to detect potential terrorists with cameras and noninvasive sensors that monitor eye blinks, heart rate, and even fidgeting.

The project, called the “Future Attribute Screening Technology,’’ is aimed at allowing security checkpoint personnel at airports or large public events to make better, faster decisions about whether a person should get follow-up screening.

At a demonstration of the technology this week, project manager Robert P. Burns said the idea is to track a set of involuntary physiological reactions that might slip by a human observer. These occur when a person harbors malicious intent – but not when someone is late for a flight or annoyed by something else, he said, citing years of research into the psychology of deception.