Feeds

Liars' brains really are made of different stuff

Fibbing ability linked to the leetle white cells

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Pathological liars' brains are different from normal people's. The fibbers had up to 26 per cent more white matter than the honest folk, a study has found, suggesting that it is the white matter that allows people to deceive, and that pathological liars may not always be in complete control of their porkies.

The findings, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, are in line with similar research into autism. Autistic people have more grey matter than non-autistic people, and generally find it much harder to lie.

Grey matter processes information, while white matter merely transmits it. having more white matter might make it easier to lie, the University of Southern California researchers suggest. But this is unlikely to be the full story, and the team says it expects to find more physical differences, the BBC reports.

The researchers studied three groups: a group of 12 men and women with a history of deceitful and manipulative behaviour, a control group of 21 "normal" people, and a third group of 16 people with anti-social personality disorder.

All participants underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans so that researchers could assess how much grey vs. white matter each group had.

The liars had between 22 and 26 per cent more white matter than either of the other groups. The researchers say the difference could not be accounted for by variations in age, ethnicity, IQ, head injury or substance misuse.

Dr Cosmo Hallstrom, a consultant psychiatrist in London, told the BBC: "The issue is always how much of our behaviour is under voluntary control and how much is innate. The finding of brain abnormalities lends weight to the idea that a strong component of such difficulties may well be beyond voluntary control at least in part."

The research team says more work is needed to find out at what stage in the brain's development these differences appear. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.