Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Building a Portrait of a Lie in the Brain

This is interesting... do some brain imaging on a person while they're lying and you might be able to tell. If you also do that whole lie detecting thing to test for sweating and heart rate and whatnot. And ask the right questions.

I think Dr. Cal Lightman has the thing all tied up. I'm referring to the new show Lie To Me, in which the good doctor can spot lies by reading facial expressions and body language while the questions are asked. I still haven't decided how much I like it, but perhaps it's enough, because I keep watching the episodes on hulu. But life would kind of suck if we couldn't tell lies. For example, I modeled a dress for my family yesterday and asked them to tell me how it looked. My dad asked "What if you look fat in it? What am I supposed to say?" My first response is to say, gimme the truth. My second is to say, sugar-coat it. But what if I noticed that suppressed sneer in the corner of his mouth? How the tilt of his head was wrong? Then it's not so much the fact I'm fat, it's the fact he lied. Yesterday I overheard a conversation concerning relationship boundaries and cheating. Yeah, that'd be real fun. Not that I wouldn't want to know the truth, but the act of lying hurts more sometimes.

In conclusion, there's no good way to tell a lie, unless you're a fictional TV show character. Especially because brain imaging is so very expensive.

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