Magnet Magic: “The Truth of the Matter”

A new study suggests that magnets can be used for more than just pinning your kid’s artwork to the refrigerator.

Magnetic fields have been used in science for quite a while for a plethora of things ranging from fMRI’s to the simple navigational compass.  It has long been known that magnetic fields, which are invisible to the human eye, can have effects on the tangible world.

What if magnets could effect our ability to deceive people?

Well, Smartplanet has reported on that very idea.  Researchers, Inga Karton and Talis Bachmann from Estonia, revealed that magnets, strategically placed, can affect a person’s proclivity to lie.  Scientists stimulated a part of the brain labeled DPC or dorsolateral prefrontal cortex with magnets.  This same type of scientific technique is used to study elusive qualities of human nature, such as morality and memory.

Law enforcement everywhere would love to procure an instrument as beneficial as a truth extractor.  What could be better or easier than placing an innocuous item such as a magnet on someone and being able to extract the truth?

This study, published in Behavioural Brain Research, has a long way to go to prove that magnets directly influence a person’s propensity to lie.  The sample size of this group was very small (16 participants) and there was no real motivation for the subjects to lie.

However, the preliminary findings are interesting and further studies could prove beneficial for how lie detectives try to extrapolate the “truth of the matter”.

What do you think? Could a simple magnet be used as a lie detection tool?  If lie detection were that easy, wouldn’t we have figured it out by now?

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