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Posts Tagged ‘science blogs’

Eye Movements and Lie Detection – Another Myth?

19/07/2012 1 comment

This is not a proper post. It is more like a long tweet. Having done a similar study last year and finding no significant results I felt I had to share this with you.

You have probably heard that right-handed people look up to their right when they are telling a lie, while they look up to their left when they are telling the truth. Surprisingly, even though many people believe this is to be scientifically established, a quick google search comes up with no relevant peer-reviewed papers. Richard Wiseman and colleagues investigated this notion with three different studies. All three studies provided no evidence to support the notion. So it seems that the patterns of eye-movements do not aid lie detection.

Why did this myth survive for such a long time? Probably thanks to psychologists’ reluctance to publish negative results…

Here is the abstract:

Proponents of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) claim that certain eye-movements are reliable indicators of lying. According to this notion, a person looking up to their right suggests a lie whereas looking up to their left is indicative of truth telling. Despite widespread belief in this claim, no previous research has examined its validity. In Study 1 the eye movements of participants who were lying or telling the truth were coded, but did not match the NLP patterning. In Study 2 one group of participants were told about the NLP eye-movement hypothesis whilst a second control group were not. Both groups then undertook a lie detection test. No significant differences emerged between the two groups. Study 3 involved coding the eye movements of both liars and truth tellers taking part in high profile press conferences. Once again, no significant differences were discovered. Taken together the results of the three studies fail to support the claims of NLP. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

The rest of the article can be found on PLoS ONE.

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Major depression associated with impaired processing of emotion in music?

24/07/2010 4 comments

Previous studies have found that the processing of faces and voices is negatively biased in major depression. Naranjo and colleagues were the first to investigate possible effects of major depression on the recognition of emotion in music. According to the authors:

as music is not directly linked to interpersonal communication, comparing a musical task with a facial and a vocal one will allow us to determine whether the impaired processing of emotional stimuli in depression is limited to interpersonal contexts

23 depressed patients and 23 matched healthy controls participated in this study. Their affective information processing was assessed through musical, vocal and facial emotion recognition tasks. Depressed participants were found to be impaired in all tasks. More specifically:

Depressed participants were less accurate in their recognition of peaceful and happy musical excerpts, for neutral and surprised voices and fearful, neutral and angry faces (whether displayed briefly or for a longer period). The depressed participants rated the intensity of the emotion higher than the control group for sad and frightening musical excerpts, and for the negative emotions of sadness, anger and fear in vocal and facial stimuli. However the depressed participants rated the peaceful musical excerpts less intense than the control group. Neutral voices and faces were frequently interpreted by depressed participants as expressing a negative emotion

These results show that there is a general emotional processing impairment in depressed participants. However, it’s hard to say that this impairment is due to the disorder itself. It could possibly be attributed to the anti-depressant medication all the participants were taking – previous research on this topic suggests that blunting of emotion is one of the effects of medication in healthy participants (Fu et al., 2004).

ResearchBlogging.orgNaranjo, C., Kornreich, C., Campanella, S., Noel, X., Vandriette, Y., Gillain, B., de Longueville, X., Delatte, B., Verbanck, P., & Constant, E. (2010). Major depression is associated with impaired processing of emotion in music as well as in facial and vocal stimuli Journal of Affective Disorders : 10.1016/j.jad.2010.06.039


(pic from here)

Multitasking, Male Attractiveness, Neurotic Nerds and other interesting studies (more links)..

25/08/2009 1 comment

Brain-stimulation2Bad news for multitaskers… A group of Stanford researchers found out that media multitaskers do not pay attention, control their memory or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time… Read more here and here.

Penn State psychologists attempt to explain how women evaluate facial attractiveness. It seems that they evaluate facial attractiveness on two levels: a sexual level and a non-sexual one. More on Science Daily’s article.

You can find a very interesting blogpost on The Neurocritic: Studious Nerds Are Neurotic and Party Animals Are Antisocial.

Whether you like babies or not, I’d highly recommend Radiolab’s podcast on a baby’s experience of the world. Read more about in on Mind Hacks.

Others Do It Better: A Few Interesting Links

07/08/2009 2 comments

mri_brainIt’s summer, but it’s the busiest time for me. I’m trying to find a place to stay in London and I have to spend most of my time searching.. I didn’t have time to write anything, so I’ll just mention a few links to  neuroscience, psychology posts that I liked this week:

1. BPS Research Digest Blog has a very interesting article about kids with invisible friends. A study by Gabriel Trionfi and Elaine Reese showed that these children have superior narrative skills… Read more here

2. Cognitive Daily inspired by summer holiday photos tells us how the brain divides the task of recognising sounds.

3. Read about the scientific study of beauty at “The Psychology of Beauty” latest blogpost: When Attractive Isn’t Beautiful

4. One of my favourite articles of the week at bjoern.brembs.blog: Don’t stress the scientists!

5. New Scientists’: “Out-of-body experiences help bring avatars to life”

6. The Psych Student on “How copyright enforcement inspires pirate behavior”

7.  Finally, a funny but  interesting article on Neuroskeptic: “Tickling Rats For Science

P.S: I’ll be back with a real blogpost soon.

domestic diva, M.D.

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