Why the Nose Heats Up When We Lie

Spanish scientists call it 'The Pinocchio Effect'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2012 6:05 PM CST
A woman suffering from "The Pinocchio Effect'?   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – So Pinocchio wasn't that far-fetched after all: The nose may not grow when we lie, but two Spanish scientists say it does get noticeably warmer. Using thermal imaging cameras on volunteers, Emilio Gómez Milán and Elvira Salazar López found that nose temperature changed depending on their mood, the Daily Mail reports. The reason: Part of the brain called the insular cortex is altered when people lie about their feelings, and the insular cortex detects and regulates body temperature.

Milán and López found other things that heat up, too. Their thermal imaging detected male and female sexual arousal in the chest and genital areas, and found that women and men became excited at the same time—even when female volunteers indicated they were not aroused, the Daily News reports. The scientists also associated "thermal footprints" with different dances: "When someone dances Flamenco, the temperature in their buttocks lowers and it rises in their forearms," they wrote. "Each type of dance has its own." (Read more Pinocchio stories.)

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