Feeds

Liars' brains really are made of different stuff

Fibbing ability linked to the leetle white cells

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Rosetta science team thinks Philae might come to life in the spring
And disclose the biggest surprise of Comet 67P
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
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.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.