The contribution of executive processes to deceptive responding

Department of Psychology, Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing, NY 11367, USA.
Neuropsychologia (Impact Factor: 3.3). 02/2004; 42(7):878-901. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2003.12.005
Source: PubMed


We measured behavioral responses (RT) and recorded event-related brain potentials (ERPs) when participants made truthful and deceptive responses about perceived and remembered stimuli. Participants performed an old/new recognition test under three instructional conditions: Consistent Truthful, Consistent Deceptive and Random Deceptive. Compared to Consistent Truthful responses, Consistent Deceptive responses to both perceived and remembered stimuli produced the same pattern of less accurate, slower and more variable responses and larger medial frontal negativities (MFN). The MFN is thought to reflect activity in anterior cingulate cortex, a brain area involved in monitoring actions and resolving conflicting response tendencies. The Random Deceptive condition required participants to strategically monitor their long-term response patterns to accommodate a deceptive strategy. Even compared to the Consistent Deceptive condition, RTs in the Random Deceptive condition were significantly slower and more variable and MFN activity increased significantly. MFN scalp distribution results revealed the presence of three different patterns of brain activity; one each for truthful responses, deceptive responses and strategic monitoring. Thus, the data indicate that anterior cingulate cortex plays a key role in making deceptive responses.

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Available from: Ray Johnson, Oct 05, 2015
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    • "From the definition that lying involves withholding the truth, several cognitive models of deception have derived that response inhibition – the executive function that allows one to intentionally inhibit a dominant, automatic or prepotent response (Miyake et al., 2000) – may be at the heart of deception (Spence et al., 2004; Vendemia, Schillaci, Buzan, Green, & Meek, 2009; Walczyk, Harris, Duck, & Mulay, 2014). Various lines of research support the notion that the truth is the more dominant response that is activated first during lying, thereby causing response conflict (e.g., Duran, Dale, & McNamara, 2010; Hadar, Makris, & Yarrow, 2012; Johnson, Barnhardt, & Zhu, 2004; Seymour &Schumacher, 2009). Evidence that this response conflict is solved by active inhibition of the truth comes mainly from brain imaging studies that show that lying is accompanied by activity in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG; Abe, 2011; Vartanian et al., 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Lying takes more time than telling the truth. Because lying involves withholding the truth, this "lie effect" has been related to response inhibition. We investigated the response inhibition hypothesis of lying using the delta-plot method: A leveling-off of the standard increase of the lie effect with slower reaction times would be indicative of successful response inhibition. Participants performed a reaction-time task that required them to alternate between lying and truth telling in response to autobiographical questions. In two experiments, we found that the delta plot of the lie effect leveled off with longer response latencies, but only in a group of participants who had better inhibitory skills as indexed by relatively small lie effects. This finding supports the role of response inhibition in lying. We elaborate on repercussions for cognitive models of deception and the data analysis of reaction-time based lie tests.
    Consciousness and Cognition 09/2015; 37. DOI:10.1016/j.concog.2015.09.005 · 2.31 Impact Factor
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    • "It should be noted that so far most evidence for the contribution of response inhibition is indirect. Response inhibition has been used to explain differential effects of lying compared with truth telling, as for instance elevated RTs (Seymour et al., 2000; Verschuere and De Houwer, 2011), enlarged activation in brain areas linked to response inhibition (Spence et al., 2001; Schumacher et al., 2010; Vartanian et al., 2013) and stronger ERPs linked to conflict-detection (Johnson et al., 2004, 2005, 2008; Dong et al. 2010). More direct evidence of response inhibition during lying is scarce. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aims: Despite the widespread belief that alcohol makes the truth come out more easily, we know very little on how alcohol impacts deception. Given that alcohol impairs response inhibition, and that response inhibition may be critically involved in deception, we expected that alcohol intake would hamper lying. Methods: In total, 104 volunteers were tested at a science festival, where they had the opportunity to drink alcohol. Stop-Signal Reaction Times (SSRTs) served as operationalization of response inhibition. Differences in error rates and reaction times (RTs) between lying and truth telling served as indicators of the cognitive cost of lying. Results: Higher blood alcohol concentration was related to longer SSRTs, but unrelated to the cognitive costs of lying. Conclusion: This study validates previous laboratory research on alcohol and response inhibition in a realistic drinking environment, yet failed to find an effect of alcohol on lying. Implications of these findings and for the role of response inhibition in lying are discussed.
    Alcohol and alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire). Supplement 11/2014; 50(1). DOI:10.1093/alcalc/agu079
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    • "le response of lying ( Mohamed et al . , 2006 ; Osman , Channon , & Fitzpatrick , 2009 ; Pennebaker & Chew , 1985 ) . ADCAT posits that with the decision to deceive in a particular way active in WM , the central executive suppresses the accurate sharing of specific information , [ K ] often involving active inhibitory centers in the frontal lobe ( Johnson et al . , 2004 ; Kozel , Padgett , & George , 2004 ; Mohamed et al . , 2006 ) . The intrinsic load of inhibiting truthful responding depends on how elaborate truth - related memories are and how habitual honest responding is ( Van Bockstaele et al . , 2012 ; Verschuere et al . , 2011 ) . For instance , if a truth was recently encoded or is unavailable"
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about the cognition of deception (Gombos, 2006). We propose a cognitive account of serious lying (i.e., deception involving high stakes) in response to a solicitation of a truth: Activation-Decision-Construction-Action Theory (ADCAT). Built on the Activation-Decision-Construction Model of answering questions deceptively ( Walczyk, Roper, Seeman, & Humphrey, 2003), the theory elaborates on the roles of executive processes, theory of mind, emotions, motivation, specifies cognitive processing thoroughly, and considers the rehearsal of lies. ADCAT's four processing components are (a) activation of the truth, the (b) decision whether and how to alter deceptively the information shared, (c) construction of a deception, and (d) action [acting sincere while delivering a lie]. Core constructs are “theory of mind” and “cognitive resources”. Specifically, throughout serious deception, individuals are inferring the current or potential mental states of targets and taking steps to minimize the allocation of cognitive resources during delivery to appear honest and lie well.
    New Ideas in Psychology 08/2014; 34:22–36. DOI:10.1016/j.newideapsych.2014.03.001 · 0.86 Impact Factor
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