Neural correlates of the judgment of lying: A functional magnetic resonance imaging study

National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Okazaki, Japan.
Neuroscience Research (Impact Factor: 1.94). 11/2008; 63(1):24-34. DOI: 10.1016/j.neures.2008.09.010
Source: PubMed


Lie judgment is an estimation of the speaker's intention to deceive inevitably accompanied by moral judgment. To depict their neural substrates, we conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Eighteen subjects read short stories and made judgments in three different tasks: a control gender judgment task, a moral judgment task, and a lie judgment task. Compared with the control task, both the moral and lie judgment tasks activated the left temporal lobe, the medial prefrontal cortex, the lateral orbitofrontal cortex extending to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the caudate nucleus, the left temporo-parietal junction (TPJ), and the right cerebellum. Neural activations were greater in the left middle frontal gyrus, the bilateral TPJ, and the right superior temporal sulcus in the lie judgment condition than in the moral judgment condition. In addition, the left TPJ showed greater activation when a protagonist told lies for anti-social rather than pro-social purposes. These data suggest that the judgment of lies is mediated by the neural substrates of moral judgment (conventionality) and those involved in detecting the intent to deceive (intentionality), and that the left TPJ might play a key role in processing both the conventional and the intentional information involved in the judgment of lying.

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Available from: Kang Lee, Oct 03, 2015
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    • "The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) is consistently engaged in moral judgement (Greene et al., 2001; Moll et al., 2002; Harenski and Hamaan, 2006; Koenigs et al., 2007; Prehn et al., 2008; Harada et al., 2009). VMPFC seems to play a crucial role in the mediation of the emotions engaged during moral processing (Young and Koenigs, 2007). "
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    • "The neuroanatomic substrates of comprehending lies involve regions implicated with moral judgment, including anterior temporal and left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) regions (mediating semantic knowledge about social norms), and rostromedial prefrontal cortex (rmPFC) (involved in reasoning about the moral aspect of a deceptive act). Additionally , lie comprehension uniquely involves activity in bilateral temporoparietal junction (TPJ), an area related to perspective taking, right superior temporal sulcus (STS), and left dorsolateral PFC, regions which may sub-serve the " ability to detect an intent to deceive " (Harada et al., 2009). Patients with right hemisphere lesions, especially in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), demonstrate poor ability to detect lies, which has been attributed to impaired ToM (Stuss et al., 2001; Winner et al., 1998). "
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