It turns out, lying to people actually changes your brain

While lying doesn’t cause our noses to grow, much like Pinocchio would lead us to believe, something else in our body definitely changes when we tell a lie or two. Research has proven that lying to people actually changes our brain, which is… well, it’s horrifying.

Not that we condone lying (since obviously it’s best to be truthful) but for something pretty common to change up such an important organ is a little scary. The study was published by Nature Neuroscience, and concluded that the amygdala — also known as the place in the brain which helps guide our emotions — doesn’t respond as quickly or often after telling a bunch of lies.


Teen Vogue reported that the research was done by using a jar of pennies. Researchers studied 80 people, who were paired up. The exercise involved one participant telling the other how many pennies were in the jar. While some responses were accurate, obviously some were lies.

Here’s the super creepy part: If the lie benefited the subject, the amygdala barely responded at all. That helped conclude that humans are pretty much wired to lie when it’s in their own self-interest. Sigh.

Now, we might just think a little differently next time we have to tell a little white lie. This might be a disadvantage to us, since many awkward family-related holidays are approaching.


When you tell your snobby cousin that you’re so happy to see her, just imagine your amygdala’s response. And when you tell her you’re looking forward to wearing that totally unflattering bridesmaid’s dress at her wedding, remember that your brain will be the one truly suffering through the event.

On second thought, maybe it’s okay to lie every once in awhile…