Neurological correlation between 'deception' and 'socially-stressful truth-telling' - MINDLab


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Neurological correlation between 'deception' and 'socially-stressful truth-telling'...?

Between November 30th and December 3rd 2010, an inter-disciplinary and internationally-collaborative experimental team met at CFIN to complete an experimenttal study funded by the European Neuroscience and Society Network [link:], and with scanning facilities and overheads provided by the Center for Integrative Neuroscience (CFIN/MINDLab).

The purpose of the experiment was to consider whether or not there was a neurological correlation between 'deception' and 'socially-stressful truth-telling' (i.e. evaluative statements that may cause dissonance in relationships between two or more people). During deception, activity has been  seen in several areas of the brain (the anterior cingulated cortex, the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; and sometimes the insula). Truth-telling, however, has often been used as a baseline for these studies - an experimental condition for which there is little additional brain activation. The researchers hypothesized that brain areas often associated with inhibition, recall, decision making, and executive function may be similarly active during deception and and socially-stressful truth-telling. Their experimental design created a situation in which to test the outcomes of socially-stressful truth-telling.

The experiment was conducted by Melissa M. Littlefield (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Des Fitzgerald (London School of Economics and Political Science), and James Tonks (University of Exeter), with local collaborators Martin Dietz, Kasper Knudsen and Andreas Roepstorff. With scanning now complete, data analysis will begin in the new year, and results should be reported shortly thereafter.

Melissa Littlfield, Des Fitzgerald and James Tonks would like to express their gratitude to the ENSN, and particularly to all at CFIN/MINDlab who made the experiment possible.
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Revised 12-6-2010