Truth and lying are complicated neurological behaviors. Although the role of the visual cortex and other areas of the brain are being identified, and their functions clarified, it is not likely that there is a “truth” center in the brain or a “lying” center. Scientists try to identify neurological correlates of truth-telling and lying in the laboratory, but it is not known if any findings of this type are operative in real life. This program will examine three important real-life aspects of truth and lying.
First, are we born with the ability to understand the concept of truth and lying? Victoria Talwar will discuss the childhood development of a sense of lying and truth-telling. Second, do our “minds” know what is true and what is false? Elizabeth Loftus will describe the phenomenon of so-called repressed memories and how it is possible for someone to be convinced they are telling the truth when they are not. Finally, what do we know about people who are consistent liars? Charles Dike will explore the nature of pathological lying and why some people lie seemingly without purpose.
I first met Joe Coyle five years ago when I joined the Dana Foundation as editor of Cerebrum and inherited an advisory board of a half-dozen Dana Alliance members who were considered among the world’s top neuroscientists in their specialty areas. Since I had limited experience in covering neuroscience, Joe helped get me through my first year by providing sage advice on the latest research breakthroughs and recommending the best scientists to write on particular topics. As editor of JAMA Psychiatry for over a decade and past president of the Society for Neuroscience, his expertise in all things having to do with brain research is remarkable.
So it came as no surprise to me and our advisory board members when, this week, Joe was honored by The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) with the 2017 Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health. The prize recognizes achievements in basic science, clinical application, and public policy that lead to progress in the understanding, etiology, prevention, treatment, or cure of mental disorders.
On Friday, one of NYC’s newest venues in the Lower East Side opened its doors to science enthusiasts and curious bystanders for an evening of happy hour and brain-related activities. The aptly titled event, “Pregame Your BraiNY,” took place at CAVEAT, which launched just over a month ago as an event space devoted to intellectual nightlife and “oddball programming.”
Summer is officially over and we’re gearing up for a busy–and brainy–fall in New York City. There are a lot of public events coming up that we wanted to highlight.
First up, our neuroscientist friends at braiNY are headed to CAVEAT on September 29 for a neuroscience-themed happy hour. With promises to teach you “science-based party tricks from experts that will make you the coolest kid at the party,” this is surely an event not to be missed.