Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Lying & that 'Gut' Feeling

At one point or another all of us has told a lie. Have you noticed feeling a 'sick' sensation in your stomach during those times? Some observant scientists have, and they decided to make a study to determine if they could use this 'normal' reaction to stress as a lie detector.

A new study shows that measuring changes in the stomach may be better at spotting a lie than standard polygraph methods.

Polygraphs use electrocardiograms (ECGs) to measure changes in heart rate and sweating to detect lies. But researchers say the stomach and gastrointestinal tract are also extremely sensitive to stress, and this mind-stomach connection may betray even the best liars.

Their results suggest that adding gastrointestinal monitoring to standard polygraph techniques may increase the accuracy of lie-detection methods, which are about 90% accurate.

The study showed that both lying and telling the truth were associated with changes in heart rate and stomach activity. The act of lying was associated with a decrease in the amount of normal gastric "slow waves."[CBS News, Oct. 31, 2005]

Of couse telling the truth when your stomach is empty might confuse the measuring instruments :o)
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