Humanity's days of lying may be coming to an end
Lying is a part of everyday life. You've probably told a lie or two already today, no matter how small. But a new study shows that strategically-placed magnetic stimulation could potentially prevent your brain from being dishonest. Estonian researchers at the University of Tartu used a process known as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to determine the parts of the brain responsible for truthfulness and deceit. By stimulating these areas, the scientists were able to promote either an honest answer or a lie.
The relatively small study consisted of just 16 individuals, and tasked them with monitoring objects on a computer screen. The subjects were then asked to speak the color of the object as each one appeared on the screen. It was left up to each individual to decide whether to tell the truth, or lie. The researchers found that when stimulating the left half of an area of the brain known as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the answers tended to be largely lies, but when stimulating the opposite side of the brain, more honest answers began flowing forth.
While the results appear promising, the human brain is a complicated organ. No matter what the scientists did, lying was never completely eliminated from subjects' responses. It's also unclear whether other parts of the brain are also responsible for different types of lies, such as half-truths or "white lies." Additional studies into the applications of TMS are ongoing, and while coaxing the truth out of a murder suspect with a simple zap is still science fiction, the days of unimpeded lying may be over.
[Source: Singularity Hub]
This article originally appeared on Tecca
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