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.

Download full-text


Available from: Kang Lee
  • Source
    • "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). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neural underpinnings of morality are not yet well understood. Researchers in moral neuroscience have tried to find specific structures and processes that shed light on how morality works. Here, we review the main brain areas that have been associated with morality at both structural and functional levels and speculate about how it can be studied. Orbital and ventromedial prefrontal cortices are implicated in emotionally-driven moral decisions, while dorsolateral prefrontal cortex appears to moderate its response. These competing processes may be mediated by the anterior cingulate cortex. Parietal and temporal structures play important roles in the attribution of others' beliefs and intentions. The insular cortex is engaged during empathic processes. Other regions seem to play a more complementary role in morality. Morality is supported not by a single brain circuitry or structure, but by several circuits overlapping with other complex processes. The identification of the core features of morality and moral-related processes is needed. Neuroscience can provide meaningful insights in order to delineate the boundaries of morality in conjunction with moral psychology.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience
  • Source
    • "Neuroimaging studies underscore the cerebellar contribution to several aspects of moral processing discussed by Fumagalli and Priori (2012): theory of mind (Brunet et al., 2000; Gallagher et al., 2000; Calarge et al., 2003; Grè zes et al., 2004), moral judgement (Harada et al., 2009), deception (Gamer et al., 2007), and empathy (Singer et al., 2004; Jackson et al., 2005; Shamay-Tsoory et al., 2005; Lamm et al., 2007; Schulte-Rü ther et al., 2007; Lang et al., 2011). Impairments of theory of mind and/or social cognition are reported in patients with cerebellar damage (Roldan Gerschcovich et al., 2011) and spinocerebellar ataxias (Garrard et al., 2008; Sokolovsky et al., 2010; D'Agata et al., 2011). "

    Preview · Article · May 2013 · Brain
  • Source
    • "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). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Comprehension of insincere communication is an important aspect of social cognition requiring visual perspective taking, emotion reading, and understanding others' thoughts, opinions, and intentions. Someone who is lying intends to hide their insincerity from the listener, while a sarcastic speaker wants the listener to recognize they are speaking insincerely. We investigated whether face-to-face testing of comprehending insincere communication would effectively discriminate among neurodegenerative disease patients with different patterns of real-life social deficits. We examined ability to comprehend lies and sarcasm from a third-person perspective, using contextual cues, in 102 patients with one of four neurodegenerative diseases (behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia [bvFTD], Alzheimer's disease [AD], progressive supranuclear palsy [PSP], and vascular cognitive impairment) and 77 healthy older adults (normal controls - NCs). Participants answered questions about videos depicting social interactions involving deceptive, sarcastic, or sincere speech using The Awareness of Social Inference Test. All subjects equally understood sincere remarks, but bvFTD patients displayed impaired comprehension of lies and sarcasm compared with NCs. In other groups, impairment was not disease-specific but was proportionate to general cognitive impairment. Analysis of the task components revealed that only bvFTD patients were impaired on perspective taking and emotion reading elements and that both bvFTD and PSP patients had impaired ability to represent others' opinions and intentions (i.e., theory of mind). Test performance correlated with informants' ratings of subjects' empathy, perspective taking and neuropsychiatric symptoms in everyday life. Comprehending insincere communication is complex and requires multiple cognitive and emotional processes vulnerable across neurodegenerative diseases. However, bvFTD patients show uniquely focal and severe impairments at every level of theory of mind and emotion reading, leading to an inability to identify obvious examples of deception and sarcasm. This is consistent with studies suggesting this disease targets a specific neural network necessary for perceiving social salience and predicting negative social outcomes.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2011 · Cortex
Show more