Re: Truth machines

Anders Sandberg (
17 Dec 1998 20:52:12 +0100

Michael Lorrey <> writes:

> Yes, there was an interesting bit on tv recently on the pantomimes
> that people have when they are lying. For example, apparently the
> memory center of the brain is in one hemisphere, while the center of
> creative thinking is in the other. You can tell which one the person
> is accessing by watching which way they look, to the right or left,
> when they talk. If they are lying, then they are accessing the
> creative center to make the story up.

Hmm, I doubt this somewhat. People certainly do pantomimes when lying, but they are seldom this nice and clear-cut. Besides, I'm suspicious of a "creativity center" - at least I haven't heard of it in my neuroscience readings.

> This trick can be beaten by creating your story before hand, and
> memorizing it, so you can remember it when being questioned, rather
> than making it up on the fly, but there are a number of other
> signals as well.

It is surprising how little preparation it takes to make a story believable to yourself, if you mix in the right amount of truth. Always worrying when you start to think about how much of your *other* ideas are self-serving lies.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y