Liars’ brains make fibbing come naturally

Celeste Biever in New Scientist:

The brains of pathological liars have structural abnormalities that could make fibbing come naturally.

“Some people have an edge up on others in their ability to tell lies,” says Adrian Raine, a psychologist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. “They are better wired for the complex computations involved in sophisticated lies.”

He found that pathological liars have on average more white matter in their prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain that is active during lying, and less grey matter than people who are not serial fibbers. White matter enables quick, complex thinking while grey matter mediates inhibitions.

Raine says the combination of extra white matter and less grey matter could be giving people exactly the right mix of traits to make them into good liars. These are the first biological differences to be discovered between pathological liars and the general population.

More here.