Monday, October 26, 2015
My prefrontal cortex made me do it.
I finally finished the Ariely book on dishonesty. Well, okay, I skimmed the last part. Anyway I learned something interesting and will try to break it down for you.
UCLA researcher Yaling Yang sets up a study where she identifies pathological liars and gives them brain scans. It turns out that in a nutshell the human brain is comprised of both gray and white matter. Gray matter is brain cells, white is connective linkage.
Interestingly the liars have 14% less gray matter than the control group and this is significant when talking about the prefrontal cortex, a cranial control tower which controls morality amongst other things. This may make it easier for liars to lie.
They also found evidence that the liars had 22 to 26% more white matter. This heightened connectivity and a larger cranial network of neural associations may make those with this physiologic attribute natural liars and more able to rationalize their dishonesty.
On a completely unrelated note, great article at the Atlantic - If you're not paranoid you're crazy.