To Tell the Truth

Neuroscience and Society Series

November 09, 2017

Truth and lying are complicated neurological behaviors. Although the role of the visual cortex and other areas of the brain are being identified, and their functions clarified, it is not likely that there is a “truth” center in the brain or a “lying” center. Scientists try to identify neurological correlates of truth-telling and lying in the laboratory, but it is not known if any findings of this type are operative in real life. 

This program examines the important real-life aspects of truth and lying. Do our “minds” know what is true and what is false? Elizabeth Loftus describes the phenomenon of so-called repressed memories and how it is possible for someone to be convinced they are telling the truth when they are not. What do we know about people who are consistent liars? Charles Dike explores the nature of pathological lying and why some people lie seemingly without purpose. Victoria Tolwar joins in the Q&A and discussion at the end.

 This event, part of the AAAS Neuroscience and Society series, was co-sponsored by the Dana Foundation and the International Neuroethics Society.