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Study Suggests Magnets Can Force You to Tell the Truth

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the refrigerator-of-truth dept.

Biotech 320

Estonian researchers claim that magnets can either force you to lie or make it impossible. Subjects in the study had magnets placed at either the left or the right side of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and the results suggest that the individual was either unable to tell the truth or unable to lie depending on which side was stimulated. From the article: "Last year, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology also used powerful magnets to disrupt the area said to be the brain's 'moral compass,' situated behind the right ear, making people temporarily less moral."

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Magnets force me to (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37351834)

always get First Post!

Fucking magnets... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37351842)

...how do they work?

Re:Fucking magnets... (3, Funny)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352536)

Just like voodoo magic. Gimme a hair off of your head, I'll make a voodoo doll, and stick a gold coin up it's ass. From now on, you'll shit gold. You'll hate going to the bathroom, but you'll soon be one of the richest mofos on this planet!

Don't tell the TSA (2)

0111 1110 (518466) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351844)

Just wait until Pistole hears of this.

Re:Don't tell the TSA (3, Insightful)

yog (19073) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352574)

Oh, man, you just ruined my day! Those suckers would definitely take this idea and run with it.

TSA rep: "All passengers will place their heads into the magnetic lie detector and answer the simple question: 'Are you a hijacker?' If you answer in the affirmative, you will be detained. Please remove earrings and other metallic objects."

Armed with this technology, they should be able to nab one or two people out of a thousand, and they may even end up with a quota system. I can see it now, a leaked TSA memo: "Have you met your hijacker quota for the month?"

But how do they work? (2)

Dwonis (52652) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351846)

But how do they work?

Re:But how do they work? (1, Offtopic)

Frequency Domain (601421) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352108)

Neural transmission is like the transmission in your car. Magnets attract the iron in your blood. The little bits of iron jam the gears and prevent normal operation.

Wait a second! What's this magnet doing behind my ear?

Re:But how do they work? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37352274)

I came here hoping this would be within the first couple posts, and now I am happy.

Re:But how do they work? (1, Offtopic)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352450)

Magic.

In other news, Congolese scientists have determined that dressing in feathers and shaking a rattle cures cancer.

Re:But how do they work? (5, Funny)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352488)

Magnetic fields do no work.

Cell Phones (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37351850)

"magnets to disrupt the area said to be the brain's 'moral compass,' situated behind the right ear, making people temporarily less moral"

Is that why people on cell phones act like assholes?

Re:Cell Phones (3)

jamiesan (715069) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352328)

Only people with the phones on their left (sinister) ear.

Re:Cell Phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37352554)

this also explains why people on the internet are assholes, since many wear headphones

De-Gauzer (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351856)

So...I thought it was strange that everybody said I was an ass hole after I took that 5 dollar bet to put the magnetic tape de-Gauzer to my temple and press the button!

Re:De-Gauzer (1)

Shatrat (855151) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352092)

Karl Frederick fucken GAUSS.

Re:De-Gauzer (1)

Shatrat (855151) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352120)

Oops, Carl Friedrich, oh well. Nobody names a kickass weapon a 'Carl-gun' anyway.

Re:De-Gauzer (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352324)

It's just Gauss. Not like he misspelled Tezela's name or anything like that. Can you imagine the fanbois who'd jump such a person?


:P

Re:De-Gauzer (3, Funny)

Psmylie (169236) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352588)

I tried building a gauze rifle, once. It was very fluffy.

Re:De-Gauzer (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352154)

What does removing gauze have to do with magnets?

Re:De-Gauzer (1)

jamiesan (715069) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352348)

I want a gauze gun!

Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37351860)

Does this mean that I could get away with murder, because of some sun spots or something?

Re:Interesting... (0)

psnINsplPL (1664145) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352008)

No, you effing ass! Sh!t p1ss efffffffing effff!

*whew*

Turn that damn electromagnet off before you ask questions like that!

Re:Interesting... (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352110)

It makes you lie, not gives you Tourette's.

That said, the whole article has the scent of bullshit. TFA's title says "makes it impossible to lie" and yet the text says it simply tends to make people 'less moral'. The article is inflammatory nonsense hyping research that doesn't appear to make any such sweeping claims.

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37352490)

What was the first clue "Estonian researchers" or the rest of it. Seems like a nikken size load of BS to me. You know what else can make you act less moral? The hopes of getting laid. Does that mean that vagina's are magnetic?

Magnets! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37351866)

How do they work?

No wonder there is less crime in Canada (3, Informative)

SirBitBucket (1292924) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351870)

Must be the pull of the North Pole influencing their moral compass...

Re:No wonder there is less crime in Canada (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352124)

Well, there's a reason they call it moral compass after all. :-)

Re:No wonder there is less crime in Canada (3, Insightful)

s_p_oneil (795792) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352146)

According to the article, it sounds like it would depend on whether they're facing east or west at the time. ;-)

Although this bugs me:
"The volunteers were presented a series of coloured discs, and told they could tell the truth or lie about the objects' colours while half were being stimulated on the left and half on the right. Results showed that the eight volunteers who had their left DPC stimulated lied more often, while the ones with the right DPC stimulated were more likely to tell the truth, researchers said."

"More often" is nowhere close to "impossible". They don't say how much more, and it could be a very small percentage. If the percentage was large, I imagine the reporter would've put it in the article to make it sound more impressive and news-worthy (and the research team would've touted it loudly to get more interest and thus more funding). Also, there are no emotions or incentive involved in this case to lie or tell the truth and the subject knows it is a test, so it is more of a game than actually lying. Who knows what made the subjects change how they play the game? Maybe right-handed people get more annoyed by having magnets stuck to the left side of their head than the right side for some reason (right-handed people being the majority), and maybe the more annoyed the test subject is, the more likely they are to play the game negatively.

I cannot tell a lie (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351874)

...or feel my right arm.

Re:I cannot tell a lie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37351928)

Paradox. In. Title. Proceeding. To. Self. Destruct.

Re:I cannot tell a lie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37352182)

It's not really a paradox if he always tells the truth ...

Re:I cannot tell a lie (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352356)

Yeah.. "This sentence is a lie." would be the paradox.

So can a baseball bat! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37351884)

My studies suggest a baseball bat is better.

Federal Government (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351886)

The Feds will be very interested in this. If it pans out, expect portable versions deployed by police departments within five years.

Re:Federal Government (2)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351916)

I doubt it.... sure, you can prevent me from telling a lie...fine. Its no lie at all that I don't want to continue this conversation, and am unwilling to talk any more without a lawyer present. It is also completely true that I wish to remain silent.

Re:Federal Government (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351984)

And yet the idiots on Cops talk (and consent to a search) every time. The majority of people seem to think they can talk their way out of a ticket / arrest, probably because they've been told they should always cooperate with police officers no matter what, and they figure not answering would be not cooperating.

Police would still find plenty of uses for a device like this even though the smarter people will simply shut up like they should.

Re:Federal Government (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352136)

TV goes a long way to perpetuate that, too, by always showing nice, upstanding people talking to the police and only assholes refuse to talk.

Re:Federal Government (1)

J'raxis (248192) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352298)

And yet the idiots on Cops talk (and consent to a search) every time.

Of course they do. Do you think the people who produce Cops are going to use the footage of the suspects who invoke their rights? It would make the cops look like idiots (or the bad guys, depending on how the cop reacts), and might teach people a thing or two about defending themselves against "authority" figures.

The majority of people seem to think they can talk their way out of a ticket / arrest, probably because they've been told they should always cooperate with police officers no matter what, ...

And where do you think they learn that?

Re:Federal Government (1)

Soralin (2437154) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352012)

You're assuming that they would use it on the Truth side..

Do you want to continue this conversation? "Yes"
Do you want a lawyer present? "No"
Do you wish to remain silent? "No"
Did you commit this crime? "Yes"

Re:Federal Government (1)

Agent0013 (828350) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352208)

The Feds will be very interested in this. If it pans out, expect portable versions deployed by police departments within five years.

I doubt it.... sure, you can prevent me from telling a lie...fine. Its no lie at all that I don't want to continue this conversation, and am unwilling to talk any more without a lawyer present. It is also completely true that I wish to remain silent.

No, I don't see it going into police departments first. I see it being implemented in the airports. After your nude scanner photos are taken and distributed they will hook up the brain-magnet machine and simply ask you if you are a terrorist. If you can't lie, then all the terrorists will admit what they are up to. And you don't have a choice to remain silent since you are not under arrest. If you don't cooporate they don't let you fly. And they charge you $11,000 for entering security and not completing it properly. You volunteered to buy a plane ticket, so if the TSA rapist wants to feel you up and alter your brain, you have to comply.

Don't you just love the "land of the free"!

Re:Federal Government (5, Interesting)

cobrausn (1915176) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352368)

Funny story.

Friend of mine was driving back home from grad school for a short vacation. Got pulled over by some state troopers on the way home. Apparently he was driving a road that is frequented by drug runners from mexico and his little compact car was stuffed to the point of overflowing with random possessions. Trooper asks to search his car. He says no.

Trooper then calls in a K-9 unit after mumbling something to himself, which walks around the car for many minutes without once alarming (barking). Obviously annoyed at this damned citizen who won't let him do what he wants, the trooper then moves my friend behind his police car and goes back to the car with the K-9 trooper. My friend sees them kick the car to get the dog to bark, and the troopers come over and inform him that the dog barking gives them right to search the car. They then spend the next half hour throwing his possessions all over the side of the highway. They found nothing and went on their way.

Moral of the story is - it doesn't matter. The more authority we surrender, the more our 'rights' become meaningless in the face of an overwhelming corporate/government bureaucracy that protects its own rights over yours.

Re:Federal Government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37351930)

And helmets to be sold that offset the effect...

Re:Federal Government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37352524)

No they won't. They don't want truth. They want an admission of guilt and the names of your co-conspirators, regardless of whether you actually did anything wrong.

Expecting random results? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37351906)

Well, I'm no scientist but if you tell people they can lie or tell the truth doesn't that sort of skew the results? I think it would be more interesting if they simply asked questions and did not tell the subjects what the experiment was about while determining if they lied or not behind closed doors.

Immediate Uses For This (0)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351910)

I request a large array of magnets, stage left, at all political debates, presidential appearances in joint sessions of congress, county council hearings, talk show round tables, to the left of all marketing managers' desks, and of course as special left-wall installations in special kiosks that will become the only places where you can access match.com, slashdot, yelp, and the huffington post.

Re:Immediate Uses For This (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37352014)

WikiLeaks Live Action

Re:Immediate Uses For This (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352058)

This would be fun at political debates, like this one:

Morbo: Morbo demands an answer to the following question: If you saw delicious candy in the hands of a small child would you seize and consume it?
Jack Johnson: Unthinkable.
John Jackson: I wouldn't think of it.
Morbo: What about you, Mr. Nixon? I remind you you are under a truth-o-scope.
Nixon's Head: Uh, well, I, uh...the question is-is vague. You don't say what kind of candy, whether anyone is watching or uh... At any rate, I certainly wouldn't harm the child.

Re:Immediate Uses For This (4, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352096)

Note that not being able to lie does not imply not being able to tell anything but the truth. Many people telling wrong things actually believe them.

Interesting... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351924)

I find the claim that they were able to make people unable to tell the truth much more surprising than the one that they were able to make people unable to lie.

While fun and useful, lying is somewhat cognitively demanding: You have to synthesize and deliver a contracfactual statement, you can't just remember it because it didn't happen. There has been some previous speculation that you should be able to detect lying, based on the greater mental effort(and distributed across more brain regions effort) involved, vs. the recall activity required to tell the truth.

That you can knock-out truth-telling(without just inducing aphasia or amnesia temporarily, which is a bit heavy handed) is much more surprising.

Re:Interesting... (5, Informative)

nine-times (778537) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352126)

Yeah, I find the whole thing a bit dubious. It's not shocking to me that it might be possible to disrupt brain activity in such a way that a particular patient couldn't fabricate certain kinds of lies, but the idea that everyone's brain has a clear "lies on" and "lies off" switch that can be activated with a magnet.

Reading one of TFA:

The volunteers were presented a series of coloured discs, and told they could tell the truth or lie about the objects' colours while half were being stimulated on the left and half on the right.

Results showed that the eight volunteers who had their left DPC stimulated lied more often, while the ones with the right DPC stimulated were more likely to tell the truth, researchers said.

So it sounds like they were given the option of lying about something with no consequences, and they lied more often with one part of the brain stimulated. It doesn't say that it was "impossible" to lie, or even that it made it difficult to lie when strongly motivated to do so. Maybe it didn't directly cause them to be more likely to lie, but made them feel more whimsical or creative and likely to want to lie in a consequence-free environment.

Then there's the much-overlooked difference between "not-lying" and "telling the truth". I can tell you something false because I'm mistaken, because I'm telling you a fictional story, or because I'm over-simplifying. None of those actions are deceptive in nature, but none of them are "telling the truth".

Re:Interesting... (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352230)

Lying implies knowledge that you are intentional not telling the truth. Truthfully telling incorrect information is called 'a mistake'. sometime also could be 'Making bullshit up so as not to disturb my cognitive dissonance'

And just so people know, this is MRI level magnetic field, not 'Magnets'.

It does seem that people are less likely to lie. More research needed.

Re:Interesting... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352200)

They said they could encourage you to lie, not that they could force you not to be able to tell the truth. That's quite different.

The article says they were more likely to lie, not that they had no choice. (Okay, the second article says they can force it... Sounds like spin to me. They have no idea what they're talking about.)

Ditto for the truth telling, btw.

Wonderful! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37351926)

What woundrously wonderful research! What will they think of next...

Invisible airplanes (1)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352142)

if the comic books are right

Re:Invisible airplanes (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352586)

It wasn't totally invisible, more like transparent. You could see Lynda Carter inside it.

I'd say it might have been made of transparent aluminum except that wasn't invented until 1984.

Shielding (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351946)

Screw metal plates, I'm getting a faraday cage installed into (in lieu of) my skull!

Original paper? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351948)

This experiment sounds like it should be easy for a DIYer to reproduce. I can rig up an electromagnet helmet to prevent any placebo effect (no changing headgear) and make it double-blind.

Re:Original paper? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352152)

Depends on the strength of the magnet and whether or not the field needs to be oscillating in a particular way for it to work.

The wonders of mass-produced rare-earth magnets have certainly brought ~1tesla surface strengths down into the realm of hobbyists, and you can get fairly punchy electromagnets with fairly basic tools; but if it requires bulk superconductors, cryogens, or reasonably precise high-frequency control of large currents, that can get tricky...

Re:Original paper? (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352240)

Sigh.. It's an MRI level magnetic fields, not 'magnets' so no, you can't do it in your home. Unless you happen to be very wealthy.

Both researchers From Bachmann Lab (1)

goffster (1104287) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351950)

Anybody know anything about them.
The article itself is very sketchy:

A random sampling of "16" ?
No mention of how strong a magnet.
Was there a "tendency" not to lie, or was it an on/off switch ?

Re:Both researchers From Bachmann Lab (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352076)

Was there a "tendency" not to lie, or was it an on/off switch ?

I saw a different article on this yesterday. It was a reduced tendency, not an off switch. The reduction was a significant but small percentage (IIRC on the order of 15-20%).

I'd like to see the study repeated with vodka. Wait - did they control for vodka?

Re:Both researchers From Bachmann Lab (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352236)

It's a tendancy. from the fine article: Remarkably, those stimulated on the left side fibbed a great deal more, those on the right showed much more honesty. The title is a lie.

Re:Both researchers From Bachmann Lab (5, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352270)

"No mention of how strong a magnet."
You win a prize for asking the correct question.

It is a TMS. so we are talking about a MRI level magnetic fields.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcranial_magnetic_stimulation [wikipedia.org]

here is a slightly better article:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128284.400-powerful-magnets-hamper-our-ability-to-lie.html [newscientist.com]

how credible is this? (1)

sribe (304414) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351982)

I mean, seriously, I didn't know Elbonia was known for neuropsychological research ;-)

Alas, poor Dualism, I knew they well (4, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351998)

Modern neuroscience is killing any wiggle-room that might have remained regarding souls and free will. As I've mentioned before, neuroscientists, ethicists, and legal scholars are concerned that "my brain made me do it" will become a reasonable courtroom defense. (No, I'm not talking about the traditional "insanity defense".)

We will eventually be forced to re-think a lot of cherished beliefs about brains, minds, and behavior.

Re:Alas, poor Dualism, I knew they well (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352212)

Modern neuroscience is killing any wiggle-room that might have remained regarding souls and free will.

'Souls' was always a nonsensical concept. Free will isn't being destroyed, though; just becoming a little more rigorously defined. You still decide what you do, it's just that the mechanism of how you do that is being nailed down. Past definitions of free will often included magic or randomness in an attempt to avoid causality. Instead, it needs to be reconciled with causality.

Re:Alas, poor Dualism, I knew they well (1)

Agent0013 (828350) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352338)

Modern neuroscience is killing any wiggle-room that might have remained regarding souls and free will. 'Souls' was always a nonsensical concept. Free will isn't being destroyed, though; just becoming a little more rigorously defined. You still decide what you do, it's just that the mechanism of how you do that is being nailed down. Past definitions of free will often included magic or randomness in an attempt to avoid causality. Instead, it needs to be reconciled with causality.

You can still decide what you do, until they put the magnet to your head and make you tell a lie. Then they throw you in jail for lying under oath. Couldn't you claim that the magnets made you do it?

Re:Alas, poor Dualism, I knew they well (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352538)

You can't reconcile "free will" with causality. That's what the "free" means. If your will is subject to cause and effect, then it is not free.

Re:Alas, poor Dualism, I knew they well (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352284)

I have dualist free will! It's just that, er, my acausal free-will soul-node-thing freely chooses to act precisely as though it were actually a lump of brain-meat wholly determined by physical causation! Disprove that, skeptics!

You go too far in your conclusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37352288)

I think you go too far in your conclusion.

All they may have shown in this study is that personality is affected by the brain. Something we already knew.

It does not mean (as you suggest) that a soul does not exist because our personality, consciousness, etc. can be the result of both a soul AND a brain. I'm an MIT graduate with many friends in MIT's brain and cognitive sciences department. I've repeatedly asked my friends in that department about what is known about consciousness. They one and all, give me a similar answer -- that what consciousness is remains an open question despite years of research into the matter.

Re:Alas, poor Dualism, I knew they well (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352300)

We will eventually be forced to re-think a lot of cherished beliefs about brains, minds, and behavior.

That rather is the point of doing the research, is it not?

Re:Alas, poor Dualism, I knew they well (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352310)

There is still a strong argument for some free will.

Right now, it looks like are day to day response may not actually be free will; but thinking and evaluate and changes response might be.

But, yeah it is challenging everything about who we are, and in 2 decades we will have it pretty much known.
Of course, it can't disprove the idea of a soul because there isn't any proof it exists now, so how will not having any proof later change someone belief?

Re:Alas, poor Dualism, I knew they well (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352514)

There is still a strong argument for some free will.

Which is?

Re:Alas, poor Dualism, I knew they well (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352392)

"My brain made me do it" cannot be a valid defence because I am my brain. There's no independent "I" from which I could separate my brain.

Moral Compass Now A Literal Expression? (1)

SomewhatRandom (1299167) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352462)

Yes, "We will eventually be forced to re-think a lot of cherished beliefs about brains, minds, and behavior."... by magnets.

Re:Alas, poor Dualism, I knew they well (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352474)

Dualism was destroyed by f=ma. Everything since has just been confirmation.

Re:Alas, poor Dualism, I knew they well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37352526)

The placebo and nocebo effects strongly challenge the reductionist view of the mind. That the mind, apart from the brain yet using the brain, can change the body, is a deep challenge for anti-dualists.

Re:Alas, poor Dualism, I knew they well (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352534)

Yeap, but at the end of the day, you're still going to have to decide what to do. That is where your freedom (or the illusion thereof) comes from.

Your brain is you more than anything else. If someone's brain forced them to do something, then their brain should be punished. Ted Bundy might have been utterly insane, but we can't leave people like that free on the street. Hopefully modern neuroscience will find ways to fix people like that.

I am my brain (1)

invid (163714) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352590)

Since I am my brain then the argument "my brain made me do it" means that "I made me do it". I don't see how this kills the idea of free-will. Since I am the chemical and electrical processes in my brain then whatever causes them to do what they do IS me. There is no philosophical difference with the situation if you had a magical soul. After all, whatever would compose a magical soul has to follow some sort of rules to come up with whatever decision it makes, just as physics and chemistry underlie the decisions I make.

*sigh* (1)

ultramk (470198) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352036)

OK, lets add this up.

Results of study appear to be conclusive and immensely counter-intuitive? Check.
Research is from a former Soviet bloc country? Check.
Study size is small? 16 people, so check.
No details on methodology? Check.
Study is published in popular press, not peer-reviewed journal? Nope, Behavioural Brain Research is peer-reviewed and appears pretty legit.

Well, if this is true and accurate, it could be completely ground-breaking in any number of fields. Fascinating if other teams are able to reproduce the results. Can you even imagine a world with reliable truth-telling machines? It's mind-boggling. The only reason that polygraphs haven't completely revolutionized our society is that they are completely BS, voodoo junk-science.

Re:*sigh* (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352364)

And this may turn out to be junk science as well.

TMS has many red flags. Cures a ton of different things, studies are always small, and the larges effect can only be found in meta studies.; however there is still plenty of room for study, and I hope the effects on the brain are real, and usable..

IF the effects haven't been improved upon in 10 years, then it should be set aside and we should move on.

Re:*sigh* (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352452)

Nope, Behavioural Brain Research is peer-reviewed and appears pretty legit..

It is legit, but it's an Elsevier journal which means it is just one of literally hundreds of low impact, not so difficult to get published journals. They are peer reviewed, but that doesn't mean the research is correct nor particularly interesting. It's also behind a paywall.... Sigh.

The birdcage of research is papered with Elsevier journals....

Balls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37352046)

However, the researchers noted that the success rate of inducing truth increased where the researcher also placed two powerful opposite-pole magnets on each side of the subject's testicles, the success rate increased further where the subject perceived that the researcher was losing his grip on said magnets.

Sounds like Hype or BS (1)

jd.schmidt (919212) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352054)

No doubt you use different parts of your brain for telling the truth vs. lying and disabling the associated part or conduit would make lying harder. But unless something is lost in translation, this story is hype. It isn't a simple on/off switch.

Explains a lot about mobile phone use (1)

lucidlyTwisted (2371896) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352078)

"Sorry honey I'm stuck in work, yeah I know it's Friday...yeah...sorry...the noise?...oh, that's the cleaners...sounds like a bar?...hahahaha you funny...they've just got the radio on....don't you trust me?...I'll try to be quick...yes...love you too....bye!"
Right chaps, my round it is?

Magnets! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37352116)

How do they WORK?

Another reminder that rTMS is a real thing and is still being used to figure out what parts of the brain do what. It's still not fine-grained enough to do anything but stimulate various areas.

'more' likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37352158)

the article quoted clearly states the subjects were 'More' likely and 'Less' likely not they 100% told/did not tell the truth.

bad slashdot summary again.

It is not a joke. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352164)

It is actually the age old puzzle, "two doors, tiger behind one, princess behind the other. One guard always tells the truth, the other always lies. What question would you ask ...". Some poor Estonian tried to translate this puzzle from Sanskrit to Estonian and ended up writing it as a research paper instead.

The Answer (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352542)

The answer is simple, ask them nothing, walk away. The puzzle doesn't define that you have to talk to the guards, nor open a door, nor that finding the princess is better. Maybe you're Steve Irwin, Croc Hunter, looking for the exotic animal. Maybe you don't care. Maybe you are a woman and the guards are irresistibly cute, and happy that both are behind the door and can have both guards to yourself.

The trick to the riddle is that it is founded on an entire series of common assumptions. The fact that we fear tigers, the fact that we "want" princesses, the fact that the guards are to be asked or have any real authority to block doors, and the fact that we have to find out what is behind the doors by asking a question based on the perceived morality of the guards... THAT is interesting.

Now you see.. (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352184)

Now you see why I wear a tin foil hat.

That's why women are so Evil (1)

dlhm (739554) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352198)

They have those earrings with the magnetic backers... I knew something was up! wee need to put the magnent on the right and a regular one of the left!

Bitter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37352372)

Maybe they always reject you not because they are evil, but because you are just plain creepy?

Posting anonymously because there are a lot of nuts on Slashdot who think, "Teh wimin rejected mee so they ar teh 33-vil!!11!" and will mod down anyone who points out the truth.

Crowdsourced version (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352242)

So I guess we could crowdsource honesty by sending people to a scrap yard and walking them under one of those auto magnets? Hopefully the percentage of people with metal plates in their heads and Borg implants won't be too high....

Damn (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352248)

Damn, we attached the magnet to the wrong side of the post-doctorate student's head when he was writing that study.

Headline Misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37352334)

The headline is completely misleading, TFA:

The volunteers were presented a series of coloured discs, and told they could tell the truth or lie about the objects' colours while half were being stimulated on the left and half on the right.

Results showed that the eight volunteers who had their left DPC stimulated lied more often, while the ones with the right DPC stimulated were more likely to tell the truth, researchers said.

Re:Headline Misleading (1)

davec727 (1263298) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352550)

Yeah, the headline couldn't be more wrong. These subjects had no incentive or reason to lie or to tell the truth - they had a free and unbiased choice between lying and truth-telling, and the magnets affected their arbitrary decision. It's not like they wanted to lie and couldn't.

Enhanced Interrogation Techniques . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37352380)

just got kinder and gentler. Rumsfeld will be *so* pissed.

ELECTRO-Magnets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37352408)

Poorly worded article - they used Electro-magnets (Trans-Cranial Magnetic Stimulation).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcranial_magnetic_stimulation
This is a well-known effect within academic circles, it must be a slow news day.

Quick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37352502)

ask the test subject the big questions, like 'is there a god?' and such

Buy your loved one a magnetic pillow! (0)

Kaffien (635219) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352506)

All of a sudden she forgot the word no. sweeeeet.
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