Brain activity during simulated deception: An event-related functional magnetic resonance study

D. D. Langleben, L. Schroeder, Joseph A Maldjian, R. C. Gur, S. McDonald, J. D. Ragland, C. P. O’brien, A. R. Childress

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

360 Scopus citations


The Guilty Knowledge Test (GKT) has been used extensively to model deception. An association between the brain evoked response potentials and lying on the GKT suggests that deception may be associated with changes in other measures of brain activity such as regional blood flow that could be anatomically localized with event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Blood oxygenation level-dependent fMRI contrasts between deceptive and truthful responses were measured with a 4 Tesla scanner in 18 participants performing the GKT and analyzed using statistical parametric mapping. Increased activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), the superior frontal gyrus (SFG), and the left premotor, motor, and anterior parietal cortex was specifically associated with deceptive responses. The results indicate that: (a) cognitive differences between deception and truth have neural correlates detectable by fMRI, (b) inhibition of the truthful response may be a basic component of intentional deception, and (c) ACC and SFG are components of the basic neural circuitry for deception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)727-732
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2002


  • Anterior cingulate cortex
  • Deception
  • Guilty knowledge test
  • Lying
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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