Telling d crown how smart & brainy he is..well he's saying my brain is sooo biiggg...heheh...wat can I say.. jst read an article posted in Hard-T's blog.. (,")
Friday, August 29, 2008
If you want to counter any opinions or any news publicly in the newspaper, you should write a letter to the editor. If you read any articles in the blogsite, you can immediately give your comments or opinions.
A few voices can drown out all others. I decide to pick up an analyst on Permatang Pauh by-election, so that we can share the opinions immediately. I get that you have opinions you want to share. That's great. You're the Person of the Year. Read this.
Along the Watchtower
By M. VEERA PANDIYAN
The grey and white matters of those who habitually lie, cheat and manipulate others.
THE truth about lies is this: The majority of people tend to tell them. We might not want to admit it, but lying is such an innate part of being human.
Fortunately, most of us are only guilty of telling “white lies” or resort to untruths when covering up our peccadilloes.
We also tend to fib when replying to questions for which honest answers would hurt. Like: “Do I look fat in this?”
But unlike bluffing one’s boss in the office or cheating one’s spouse, the spewing of blatant lies to win or maintain political power can inflict grave damage to any country.
In the run-up to the Permatang Pauh by-election, Malaysians were deluged with a constant barrage of accusations, denials, police reports, civil suits, swearing sessions besides yet another statutory declaration.
Depending on the side of the fence you were on, the disclosures were either regarded as laughable and ludicrous absurdities or as gross lying and cynical hypocrisy.
Never has such a glut been dished out to voters but considering the high stakes involved, the torrent of sordid and discordant dope was not surprising. After all, the primary objective of politics is persuasion, not the truth.
So, besides swearing on holy books or choosing a religious court to prove innocence, how can we really tell if someone is lying?
Scientifically, the first thing that comes to mind is the lie detector or the polygraph test. But we cannot be 100% sure, even with such equipment.
The machine only detects the body’s response to lying, such as sweating of the palms or increased heart rates. Some people might be able to control their bodily responses to lying and still “pass” the test.
But science might yet again come to the rescue. Current research shows than brain scans are more reliable in detecting dishonesty.
With the tendency of die-hard supporters of political parties believing their own versions of the truth, perhaps technology can provide a solution.
It’s tragic that partisan politics has made people see things in either black or white but the reality is mostly grey, like the bulk of the matter in our brains.
Matter, both white and grey, is in the prefrontal cortex (located behind the forehead). The grey stuff is made up of cells that process information while almost half of the brain is made up of white matter – connective tissues that carry electrical signals to and from neurons.
Three years ago, the British Journal of Psychiatry published a University of Southern California study that provided first proof of structural differences in the brains of people with a history of persistent lying, cheating and manipulating others.
Liars, it seems, are wired differently from the rest of us. On the average they have between 22% and 26 % more prefrontal white matter and 14% less grey matter.
The study by Dr Yaling Yang, from the psychology department of the USC, and psychology professor Dr Adrian Raine, who is now at University of Pennsylvania, used Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to explore differences in brains among pathological liars, anti-social disorder personalities and those who were normal.
According to Dr Raine, more white matter provided liars with the tools necessary to master the complex art of deceit.
“Pathological liars can’t always tell truth from falsehood and contradict themselves in interviews. They are very brazen in terms of their manner, but very cool when talking about this.”
“Lying takes a lot of effort. It’s almost mind reading. You have to be able to understand the mindset of the other person.
“You also have to suppress your emotions or regulate them because you don’t want to appear nervous. There’s quite a lot to do there. You’ve got to suppress the truth,” Dr Raine was quoted as saying in a USC article after the study was published.
He said the more “networking” there was in the prefrontal cortex, the more the person had an upper hand in lying, adding that their verbal skills were higher and that they had a natural advantage.
In normal people, the grey matter helps to keep the impulse to lie in check. With the surplus of white matter and a deficit of grey matter, liars have more tools to lie and fewer moral restraints than normal people.
“They’ve got the equipment to lie, and they don’t have the inhibition that the rest of us have in telling the big whoppers,” Dr Raine said.
In another article posted on the National Public Radio (NPR) website, Dr Yang, the lead author of the study, was quoted as saying that the increase in white matter meant that people who lied repeatedly and compulsively were better at making connections between thoughts that were not connected in reality.
“By having more connections you can jump from one idea to another and you can come up with more random stories and ideas,” she said.
Dr Yang and Dr Raine hope that their findings could eventually be used in making clinical diagnoses and applications in the criminal justice system like helping the police identify lying suspects.
Personally, I hope we could check the heads of all our politicians, irrespective of whether they are leading or misleading and find out more about the white and grey matter in their brains.
Footnote: Associate Editor M. Veera Pandiyan thinks that Benjamin Disraeli’s famous quote ought be rephrased to: Lies, damned lies and statutory declarations.
p/s Veera is with me tonight. He keep singing.