Wired to Lie--Possible Test for Future Politicians

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 at 04:06 PM

This can only be considered devastating news for the pathological liars among us: researchers have reported finding a correlation between the relative amounts of gray and white matter in the brain's cerebral cortex. news report here

Published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, the study finds that individuals who habitually lie and cheat have less gray matter and more white matter in their prefrontal cortex than normal people.  People with antisocial personality disorder fell somewhere between the pathological liars and normal people.

The news story from Reuters concludes with:
"While the findings have no practical implications at present, if confirmed they could be useful in clinical diagnoses of whether a person is pretending to be sick.  They could also help in criminal justice settings by helping police determine if a suspect is lying, and in pre-employment screening."

Right. Pre-employment screening when your desired employment is political office.  Or corporate executive. Or salesman.  But especially political office.

I can just see the future of political campaigns: Vote for Honest Joe Mansward--certified to have a 20% higher gray to white matter index than his opponent.  If only we'd had reliable testing for this in 2000.  And 2004.