Brain scan on 'CSI: Miami'? It's real - and made in Eugene, Ore.

Brain scan on 'CSI: Miami'? It's real - and made in Eugene, Ore. »Play Video
A scene from "CSI: Miami" features a brain-wave reading sensor array made by a Eugene, Ore., company,

EUGENE, Ore. -- A man sits in a laboratory, a cap made of dozens of small sensors attached to his face.  As investigators question him about a crime, images of a knife flash through his mind.

It sounds like something straight out of science fiction and, in a way, it is.  But this episode of 'CSI: Miami' airing tonight (Monday, Jan. 12) uses real science developed 15 years ago in Eugene, Ore.

Image from EGI.comThe Geodsic Sensor Net, a product of Electrical Geodesics Inc., uses senors to read brain waves. 

Developer and EGI CEO Don Tucker started using the sensor net to study depression.  It's also been used to conduct research for epilepsy and sleep deprivation. 

But the unique looking cap -- with models featuring as many as 256 senors and a mass of wires stretching over a person's head, forehead and cheeks -- also gets attention from Hollywood.

Previously featured in the movie "X3: The Last Stand," the producers of "CSI: Miami" contacted Tucker to help with an episode called "Head Case."

In the episode, a man is found covered in blood.  He tells investigators he doesn't know what happened.  The CSI team hooks him up to a Geodesic Sensor Net and presents him with critical details from a crime scene.

"If his brain shows a recognition response, the idea was he was at the crime scene," Tucker explained.  "If it does not, the neither he has perfect amnesia and his memory was erased, or he was never there." 

He didn't get script approval but says the plot passed muster. 

"It's a fairly reasonable scientific treatment," said Tucker.  "Of course, it's a TV drama, too."

Tucker flew down to the Florida set to help with filming.  He was charged with putting the sensor cap on the actor.

"They shoot the scene about 30 times, from different angles, different lighting, so the editors have a lot to choose from," said Tucker.  "Well in this case, the scene calls for the sensor net to be taken off. Again, I don't want to reveal all the information, but that means I had put it on 30 times and put it in the same position."

Tucker also says he was impressed with actor Emily Procter, who plays Calleigh Duquesne.

"She wanted to understand the theory of it as she said her lines," he said. "Other ones just read their lines more or less."