Feeds

Brain scans show difference between truth and lies

Lies, damned lies and electronics

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Brain scans show significant differences in cranial activity when a person is lying compared to telling the truth, US researchers said yesterday.

Six volunteers were told to shoot a toy gun and then lie, saying that they hadn't done so, while three more volunteers told the truth about firing the gun. One person dropped out of the study.

The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study real time images of the subjects' brain activity while they made their testimony. The scans showed "a total of seven areas of activation in the deception (group), Dr Scott Faro, director of the Functional Brain Imaging Center at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia said. His team found four areas of activity in the truth-telling arm.

The study found that lying takes more brain effort than telling the truth, Reuters reports.

Lying causes activity in the frontal part of the brain, including the medial inferior and pre-central areas, as well as the hippocampus and middle temporal regions and the limbic areas.

Telling the truth however causes activity in the frontal lobe, temporal lobe and cingulate gyrus.

Faro said that fMRI, while expensive, could prove worthwhile as a lie detector in important cases, such as questioning a terrorism suspect, or in a high-profile corporate crime case. But he noted that the Philadelphia study was small and limited in scope, as the subjects were not encouraged to try very hard to fool the machine. ®

Related stories

Insurer taps voice analysis tech to detect fraud
Pocket lie detector spots phone phoneys
Net exec takes lie detector test

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.