The effect of deception on motor cortex excitability

Karen J. Kelly, Elizabeth Murray, Veronica Barrios, Jamie Gorman, Giorgio Ganis, Julian Paul Keenan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Although a number of recent neuroimaging studies have examined the relationship between the brain and deception, the neurological correlates of deception are still not well understood. The present study sought to assess differences in cortical excitability during the act of deception by measuring motor evoked potentials (MEPs) during transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Sports fanatics and low-affiliation sports fans were presented with preferred and rival team images and were asked to deceptively or honestly identify their favored team. Hemispheric differences were found including greater excitability of the left motor cortex during the generation of deceptive responses. In contrast to current physiological measures of deception, level of arousal was not found to differentiate truthful and deceptive responses. The results are presented in terms of a complex cognitive pattern contributing to the generation of deceptive responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-574
Number of pages5
JournalSocial neuroscience
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2009


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