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Rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies © Robert Sommers 2017

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.

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On a completely unrelated note, great article at the Atlantic - If you're not paranoid you're crazy.

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