News Stories

Stomach Polygraph

Newswise - Recent studies have suggested that we have a "second brain" in our intestines, which means that our guts get all twisted up when we're under stress, because they "worry," just like our brains do. Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) know this well. It turns out that not only do our intestines worry, our stomachs cannot tell a lie.

A new study suggests that measuring the changes in gastric output works better than standard polygraphs in distinguishing between lying and telling the truth. There is a clear link between the act of lying and a significant increase in gastric problems.

To test their hypothesis that the gastrointestinal tract is uniquely sensitive to mental stress, researchers at the University of Texas recruited sixteen healthy volunteers to undergo simultaneous electrogastrogram (EGG) and electrocardiogram (EKG) recordings.

The researchers found that both lying and truth telling affected cardiac symptoms, but the act of lying was only reflected in gastric symptoms. The EGG showed a significant decrease in the percentage of normal gastric slow waves when the subject was lying that corresponded to a significant increase in the average heart rate in the same situation.

We can't wait to see if this research turns up in our favorite police procedural TV shows. Will the CSI team start palpitating suspect's stomachs? Will the Law & Order team start grilling suspects while holding a stethoscope to that area of their anatomy? Stay tuned.

Art credit: http://www.freeimages.co.uk

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