Lie detection by functional magnetic resonance imaging

Tatia M.C. Lee, Ho Ling Liu, Li Hai Tan, Che Hin Chan, Srikanth Mahankali, Ching Mei Feng, Jinwen Hou, Peter T. Fox, Jia Hong Gao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

211 Citations (Scopus)


The accurate detection of deception or lying is a challenge to experts in many scientific disciplines. To investigate if specific cerebral activation characterized feigned memory impairment, six healthy male volunteers underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging with a block-design paradigm while they performed forced-choice memory tasks involving both simulated malingering and under normal control conditions. Malingering that demonstrated the existence and involvement of a prefrontal-parietal-sub-cortical circuit with feigned memory impairment produced distinct patterns of neural activation. Because astute liars feign memory impairment successfully in testing once they understand the design of the measure being employed, our study represents an extremely significant preliminary step towards the development of valid and sensitive methods for the detection of deception.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-164
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2002


  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Lie detection
  • Malingering
  • Memory
  • Mental processes
  • Neuropsychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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