Wednesday, December 01, 2004

First real lie detector?

I've been waiting for this for a long time! Apparently, functional MRI can be used to tell when someone is lying. Of course, it is possible that a determined and practiced deceiver might fool the machine - further testing will be required. But just imagine the societal implications of a reliable, portable lie detector! (I can't decide whether it would more useful in business meetings or on first dates :-)

Overall, it seemed to take more brain effort to tell the lie than to tell the truth... Lying caused activity in the frontal part of the brain - the medial inferior and pre-central areas, as well as the hippocampus and middle temporal regions and the limbic areas.


Carson C. Chow said...

I wouldn't bet on this to be consistent when they have larger sample sizes and I'm sure good liers will be able to beat it. From the list of active brain regions, it seems like the liers are trying to construct a self-consistent view for their lies, relying on short term memory as well. One way to beat it for court cases, is to practice the lies so that they are internalized to say temporal cortex. Then, I think it would be much harder to detect.

Anonymous said...

Great! AFTER the elections they find this?

How cool would this have been during the debates? (little ticker at the bottom of screen, same as during a football game)
Bush Lies - 42
Kerry Lies - 13


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