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What's more, the P300 is vulnerable to what scientists call "confounding factors." For instance, if the mock-terrorists in the study were raised in Houston, which was also the location of the attack, the researchers would not know for sure what was causing the P300 spike. This makes the test particularly unreliable once details of a crime or plot have been released to the public. Anyone who then read about a planned attack in Houston would have a spike at the name. The same false positive would be triggered if, say, a picture of a murder weapon had been released to the press and then was shown to a suspect.