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Brain Scan Lying Study Shows the More You Lie, the Easier It Is

Image: Brain Scan Lying Study Shows the More You Lie, the Easier It Is

A new study used brain scans to show lying gets easier with repetition. (Dave Bredeson/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 25 Oct 2016 06:05 AM

A new research study used brain scans to demonstrate that the part of the brain that makes people feel badly about lying works less and less effectively when repeated lies are told.

Researchers used MRI scans to look at the brain’s activity as participants told lies that would help them cheat to complete a task. In the study, the amygdala received stronger blood flow when the first lie was told, but subsequent lies were associated with less and less blood flow to that area, according to Forbes.

The amygdala is known to make people feel bad when they do something wrong, so the study showed chemically that the brain is wired to make lying easier to do the more someone lies, researchers concluded.

The study did not show how the amygdala reacted when a negative consequence for lying was given.

In the absence of consequences, however, it appears the brain becomes rapidly desensitized to lying.

The brain’s response to lying could explain why some people seem to lie repeatedly and not feel remorse, or why people like Bernie Madoff cheat in such huge ways, The Verge speculated about the findings.

“This is a very interesting first look at the brain’s response to repeated and increasing acts of dishonesty,” Dr. Raliza Stoyanova of the Neuroscience and Mental Health at Wellcome told Forbes. “Future work would be needed to tease out more precisely whether these acts of dishonesty are indeed linked to a blunted emotional response, and whether escalations in other types of behavior would have the same effect.”

The study was published in the Nature Neuroscience Journal on Monday.

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A new research study used brain scans to demonstrate that the part of the brain that makes people feel badly about lying works less and less effectively when repeated lies are told.
brain, scan, lying, study, easier
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2016-05-25
Tuesday, 25 Oct 2016 06:05 AM
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