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October 9, 2011 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Magnetic Honesty - Magnets Can Influence Whether People Lie or Not

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

A new report clearly demonstrates the power of magnetic forces on the mind.

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a device which uses the power of magnets to generate weak electrical fields. Used to affect brain cell communication, though rTMS is currently being used to as treatment for depression, scientists wondered if this device may have other applications. In the case of this study, they wanted to test the power of magnets against our tendency to lie.

Participants were asked to name the color of the randomly appearing red or blue discs on a computer screen - and to lie by naming the wrong color periodically at their own discretion.  While they did, an rTMS device stimulated different areas of their brain.

In the end, it was found that by stimulating the right and left hemispheres of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex – the brain region responsible for planning, memory and self-control – the participants could be influenced to either lie or tell the truth.

Right hemisphere stimulation in this region made them more likely to be truthful, while the left made them more likely to lie.

To make things even more interesting, stimulation of the other brain regions, regardless of hemisphere, had no effect on their honesty whatsoever!

The finding has interesting implications for future integration methods.

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