5 years ago

Neurocognitive mechanisms underlying deceptive hazard evaluation: An event-related potentials investigation

Huijian Fu, Haiying Ma, Wenwei Qiu, Qingguo Ma

by Huijian Fu, Wenwei Qiu, Haiying Ma, Qingguo Ma

Deceptive behavior is common in human social interactions. Researchers have been trying to uncover the cognitive process and neural basis underlying deception due to its theoretical and practical significance. We used Event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate the neural correlates of deception when the participants completed a hazard judgment task. Pictures conveying or not conveying hazard information were presented to the participants who were then requested to discriminate the hazard content (safe or hazardous) and make a response corresponding to the cues (truthful or deceptive). Behavioral and electrophysiological data were recorded during the entire experiment. Results showed that deceptive responses, compared to truthful responses, were associated with longer reaction time (RT), lower accuracy, increased N2 and reduced late positive potential (LPP), suggesting a cognitively more demanding process to respond deceptively. The decrement in LPP correlated negatively with the increment in RT for deceptive relative to truthful responses, regardless of hazard content. In addition, hazardous information evoked larger N1 and P300 than safe information, reflecting an early processing bias and a later evaluative categorization process based on motivational significance, respectively. Finally, the interaction between honesty (truthful/deceptive) and safety (safe/hazardous) on accuracy and LPP indicated that deceptive responses towards safe information required more effort than deceptive responses towards hazardous information. Overall, these results demonstrate the neurocognitive substrates underlying deception about hazard information.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0182892

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