Francesca Mameli, Giuseppe Sartori, Cristina Scarpazza, Andrea Zangrossi, Pietro Pietrini, Manuela Fumagalli, Alberto Priori

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The cognitive perspective on honesty holds that deception is cognitively more demanding than truth telling. Attempted deception is associated with the activation of executive brain regions (particularly the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices), while truthful responding has not been shown to be associated with any areas of increased activation (relative to deception). This chapter discusses the recent findings regarding the cognitive correlates of deception and proposes a framework for understanding the neural mechanisms that allow people to tell lies. We explore lying from a developmental perspective and describe the findings obtained from cognitive and neuroimaging studies. Finally, in the last sections, we discusses the findings on pathological lying, on the moral brain, and on future research directions in the cognitive neuroscience of honesty.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeuroimaging Personality, Social Cognition, and Character
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780128009352
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Deception
  • Dishonest behavior
  • Executive function
  • Lying
  • Prefrontal cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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