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    Friday, September 30, 2005

    Born to Lie

    Scientists have discovered that, like homosexuality, gender identity, intelligence, sex drive, mental illness, cleanliness, and sickle cell anemia, lying is inborn.

    People who habitually lie and cheat — pathological liars — appear to have much more white matter, which speeds communication between neurons, in the prefrontal cortex than normal people, the researchers found. They also have fewer actual neurons.

    The differences affect a portion of the brain, located just behind the forehead, that enables people to feel remorse, learn moral behavior and plan complex strategies.

    The surplus of connections between neurons might enable these people to be more adept at the complex neural networking that underlies deceit.

    Lying is hard work and these brains may be better equipped to handle it, the researchers said.

    "Lying is cognitively complex," said USC psychologist Adrian Raine, the senior scientist on the research project. "It is not easy to lie. It is certainly more difficult than telling the truth. Some people have a biological advantage in lying. It gives them a slight edge."


    So what we have to fear is that we are breeding liars, as liars are more likely to cheat and therefore probably having more sex.

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