Pinocchio effectA popular term for the observation that the telling of lies results in changes in temperature around the nose, which is attributed to activity of the insula (in the brain). Truthful responses are said to increase activity of the insula and reduce the nose’s temperature; lying decreases insula activity and raises the nose temperature, which is detected by thermography.
First reported by workers at the University of Granada (Spain) in December 2012, the effect, if confirmed, has profound implications for law enforcement as it would provide tool far superior to that of polygraphs, which are effective in detecting lies in about 53% of cases (i.e., only slightly better than a coin toss). The effect was named after Pinocchio, of childrens’ story fame, whose nose grew every time he told a lie.
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