X-Message-Number: 19341
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 10:14:32 EDT
Subject: truth machine

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For Jim Halperin:

This is from AOL News today, in part.
At the University of Pennsylvania, researcher Daniel Langleben is using a 
magnetic resonance imaging machine, the device used to detect tumors, to 
identify parts of the brain that people use when they lie.

``In the brain, you never get something for nothing,'' Langleben said. ``The 
process for telling a lie is more complicated than telling the truth, 
resulting in more neuron activity.''

Even for the smoothest-talker, lying is tough work for the brain.

First, the liar must hear the question and process it. Almost by instinct, a 
liar will first think of the true answer before devising or speaking an 
already devised false answer.

All that thinking adds up to a lot of electrical signals shooting back and 
forth. Langleben says the extra thought makes some sections of the brain 
light up like a bulb when viewed with an MRI.

MRI machines are bulky, but their potential as lie detectors could lead to 
the invention of smaller, more specialized versions, Langleben said.


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