Like Pinocchio, Your Nose Shows When You Lie

LiveScience.com
Like Pinocchio, Your Nose Shows When You Lie
.

View photo

This is what a lying face looks like to a thermographic camera.

Much like Pinocchio, your nose could reveal that you're lying, though unlike the beloved character, your nose will heat up instead of growing longer when you tell a fib, new research claims.

Psychology researchers from the University of Granada in Spain used thermography to study the temperature of people's faces in experiments. They said they found a jump in the temperature around the nose and in the orbital muscle in the inner corner of the eye during lying. They also found that face temperature drops for people performing a difficult mental task and rises for people experiencing high anxiety.

The researchers said these effects could have something to do with the insula, a region of the brain involved in consciousness as well as the detection and regulation of body temperature. Lying boosted activity in this region, the team said. [Why We Lie]

Thermography could be used to study emotional or physiological states that become manifest through body temperature, such as sexual excitement, which heats up the chest and genitals, and even empathy. The researchers said that when highly empathic people see a person getting an electric shock in the forearm, they experience an increase in the temperature in their forearm as if feeling the other person's pain.

In fact, past research showed that when touched by a male experimenter female heterosexuals in the study had an increase in skin temperature, specifically in the face and chest. That study, detailed May 30 in the journal Biology Letters, suggests skin-temperature changes may help scientists study arousal non-invasively.

In addition to detecting emotions, thermal cameras could out a drunk, according to a study detailed this year in the International Journal of Electronic Security and Digital Forensics. In that study, researchers at the University of Patras in Greece had 20 healthy participants down an 11-ounce (330-milliliter) glass of beer every 20 minutes, for a total of four drinks; after each, the researchers took a sequence of infrared pictures of their faces. The team found that for drunk people, the nose and mouth regions are generally hotter compared with the forehead.

The new work focused on the so-called "Pinocchio effect" was part of a doctoral thesis and has yet to be published in a scientific peer-reviewed journal.

Follow LiveScience on Twitter @livescience. We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Copyright 2012 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
View Comments (361)

Recommended for You

  • Luggage piece found on French island near possible MH370 debris

    Part of a bag was found Thursday on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion not far from plane debris which has fuelled speculation it may be from missing flight MH370. "The piece of luggage was here since yesterday but nobody really paid attention," said Johnny Begue, a member of a local…

    AFP
  • Chicago man cleared after 17 years in prison shot dead

    CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago man who served 17 years in prison for murder before being cleared of the crime has been shot and killed almost three years after being released from prison, police said Wednesday.

    Associated Press
  • Family Pet-Sitter Helps Herself To Homeowner's Possessions

    DEAR ABBY: A trusted and beloved family member who takes care of my cats -- and therefore has a key to my house -- has been stealing things like cleaning supplies, knickknacks, family pictures, etc. Most of them have little monetary value. But imagine my surprise when I spotted some of my missing…

    Dear Abby
  • An American Dentist Killed Zimbabwe’s Famous Lion

    Cecil the lion, a famous black-maned resident of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, died at the hands of an American dentist, conservationists claim. “Mr. Palmer shot Cecil with a bow and arrow but this shot didn't kill him,” Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, said in…

    TakePart.com
  • Hidden Security Cameras Are Shocking Surprise For Daughter

    DEAR ABBY: I'm a 19-year-old woman in college who still lives with my parents. I found out something several weeks ago that's bothering me, and I need advice badly. Years ago, after a robbery, my parents installed security cameras outside our house. I knew about them because they were visible. But…

    Dear Abby
  • Taliban disavows Afghan peace talks after leader declared dead

    By Kay Johnson KABUL (Reuters) - The Taliban's official spokesman disavowed peace talks with the Afghan government on Thursday, throwing fledgling efforts to negotiate an end to 14 years of war into disarray. The statement came a day after the Afghan government said that Mullah Omar, the elusive…

    Reuters
  • Play

    Body cam footage from Cincinnati shooting contradicts official story

    A University of Cincinnati police officer has been indicted for murder after body camera footage contradicted his official story outlining the events that led to the shooting death of unarmed Cincinnati driver Samuel Dubose.

    Reuters Videos
  • Dashcam catches off-duty cop threatening to put 'hole in head' of driver

    Technically Incorrect: A Massachusetts driver makes a wrong turn. What happens next, all filmed on his dashcam, has led to an investigation. And yes, it's now on YouTube.

    CNET
  • Trump leads Republicans, but Democrats thump him: poll

    Bombastic US billionaire Donald Trump handily leads all fellow Republicans in the 2016 presidential race, though Hillary Clinton and other Democrats trump him in head-to-head matchups, a poll said Thursday. Trump plunged into the crowded Republican nomination battle last month, and has since…

    AFP
  • Teens' 6 days adrift verge on limits for survival at sea

    TEQUESTA, Fla. (AP) — Crews pushed the limits of an ever-expanding search zone Wednesday for two teens missing at sea and potentially nearing the boundaries of human survival.

    Associated Press
  • Play

    Custom truck built by father and son stolen in Lemoore

    A Lemoore man is on the hunt for his stolen pick-up truck. The classic custom ride holds significant sentiment to its owner, who built the truck with his late father.

    KFSN – Fresno
  • Killer deal: Amazon will pay you $10 to buy a $30 Google Chromecast

    Google’s little Chromecast dongle is pretty awesome. The device plugs into the HDMI port on any HDTV or monitor and instantly gives users access to movies, TV shows, videos, music, photos and more that can be streamed from any Android device. Best of all, perhaps, the Chromecast is wonderfully…

    BGR News
  • Independent media battle on in Putin's Russia

    By Timothy Heritage MOSCOW (Reuters) - Alexei Venediktov, one of Russia's most prominent journalists, does not go out without a bodyguard and does not answer mobile phone calls for fear of being tracked. Such precautions do not seem out of place in a country where at least 17 journalists have been…

    Reuters
  • Kurdish rebels attack Turkish security forces, killing 5

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Kurdish rebels have attacked Turkish security forces in two separate assaults in southeast Turkey, killing five people, officials said. One rebel was also killed.

    Associated Press
  • How to upgrade to Windows 10: A step-by-step walkthrough

    It's July 29, 2015 or later and Windows 10 is now available as a free update. Here is what you can expect when you say "yes" to the update.

    TechRepublic
  • Internet mauls dentist accused of illegal kill of popular lion

    Technically Incorrect: Walter Palmer, a dentist in Minnesota, has his Yelp entry attacked by those not fond of his allegedly illegal killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe.

    CNET
  • View

    Creeping vines, abandoned village (20 photos)

    Just a handful of people still live in a village on Shengshan Island east of Shanghai that was once home to more than 2,000 fishermen. Every day hundreds of tourists visit Houtouwan, making their way on narrow footpaths past tumbledown houses overtaken by vegetation. The remote village, on one of…

    Yahoo News