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Background: Two experimental procedures (cue-target and target-cue) were used in studying the processes of deception. How the task will affect participants’ performances is not clear. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of the order of presentation of cue and target on the processes of deception. Methods: A face evaluation task was employed to test and compare the order effect of the deception-indicating cue and the target stimulus in studying deception (i.e., which research procedure is more sensitive in distinguishing different experimental conditions and which is more likely to represent the deception process in daily life). Behavioral responses and event-related potentials (ERP) were recorded while participants made truthful and deceptive responses about their evaluation. Results: Response-locked ERP showed that both deceptive conditions in cue-target and target-cue procedures elicited medial frontal negativities. However, the results in the ERP distribution regions, the ERP amplitudes and source estimation results were different in the two procedures. The cue-target procedure elicited a more negative ERP deflection between 40 ms and 90 ms over the central-frontal scalp regions than the target-cue procedures. Source localizations in cue-target were identified in three clusters, namely, medial frontal gyrus, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, and ventral medial frontal gyrus. In the target-cue procedure, the sources were identified in the frontal areas. Discussion: Different presenting orders of the cue and target stimuli induced different neural activities. Further, the cue-target procedure could represent the process of deception better than the target-cue procedure. Background ERPs are widely used in studies on deception because Various approaches to psychophysiological detection of they can provide precise temporal resolution of neural deception have been developed recently. The polygraphic activity. An important ERP in measuring deception is the test, one of the most popular methods to detect lies by medial frontal negativities which can be elicited between monitoring and recording peripheral measures of heart 0-100 ms after a response. Medial frontal negativity rate, skin conductance and respiration . Investigators amplitude is largest over the medial central-frontal scalp. have focused on the neural basis of deception  and This activity was initially found in conflict resolution physiological measures to detect deception . However, tasks [8,9], and was labeled as the error-related negativity minimal knowledge on the brain mechanisms involved in (ERN). However, subsequent studies have revealed that the processes of deception is available [4-7]. In the past similar negativities were also elicited on correct trials decade, brain-imaging techniques such as event related [10,11], particularly when ambiguity arises in categorizing potential (ERP) and functional magnetic resonance ima- stimuli . Therefore, some investigators suggested that ging (fMRI) enable the precise recordings of brain activ- error related negativity could represent the activity in ities that associated with the process of deception. neural circuits which are responsible for the executive processes, such as correcting an error and/or monitoring the participant’s actions, thus, they name it medial frontal negativity [8,10]. * Correspondence: email@example.com Department of Psychology, Zhejiang Normal University, 688 of Yingbin Localization studies have placed the neural generators Road, Jinhua City, Zhejiang Province, P.R.China of the error related negativity and medial frontal Full list of author information is available at the end of the article © 2010 Dong et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Dong et al. Behavioral and Brain Functions 2010, 6:63 Page 2 of 9 http://www.behavioralandbrainfunctions.com/content/6/1/63 negativity in different locations within the medial frontal target presentation of the paradigm: the cue stimuli were lobes, in or near the anterior cingulate cortex [1,13-15]. shown before the target stimuli (cue-target) and the cue The fMRI results showed that the source of the medial stimuli were presented after the target stimuli (target- frontal negativity has been located more caudally in the cue) (Figure 1). ERP has a high time resolution and is anterior cingulate cortex than the source of the error sensitive to the slight changes between the mental pro- related negativity [16,17]. Hence, these localizations sug- cesses which have advantages in detecting the order effect in different tasks. Although both target-cue and gest that the error related negativity and the medial cue-target procedures were used in measuring deception, frontal negativity may represent the neurophysiological how the task order will affect participants’ performances activity implicated in the cited fMRI studies. A one-to- one relation is noted between ERP and hemodynamic remained uncertain. In the cue-target procedure, partici- results due to different aspects of brain activity as pants know whether they should make deceptive recorded by the two measures. Given that the relation- responses first, and then, provide judgments about the ship between the negativities elicited is not resolved stimuli. It is a standard ‘evaluate-deceptive’ procedure. through correct and error trials, we used Gehring and On the other hand, in the target-cue procedure, partici- Willoughby’s  term, medial frontal negativity, to pants make judgments about the target stimuli first, after refer to this activity when it is elicited on correct trials. which, the cue stimuli suggest whether or not they Some investigators have found that the medial frontal should make deceptive responses. It is looks like a ‘coor- negativity reflects activity in anterior cingulate cortex, a dination’ process in conflicting or mismatch situation. brain area involved in monitoring actions and resolving Comparing the validity of the two procedures on decep- conflicting response tendencies [1,10,18]. The medial tion study is necessary. The numerous research para- frontal negativity has been linked to response monitor- digms in this field may bring about varied results. Hence, ing and the degree of response conflict created by a sti- drawing the comparisons between paradigms is impor- mulus [11,14,19]. Results from Johnson’s study showed tant in order to enhance understanding of their advan- that the deceptive responses elicited significantly larger tages and disadvantages. In addition, the validity of medial frontal negativity compared with that of the existing research paradigms on deception was often ques- truthful responses, which indicated that the medial fron- tioned by researchers. Therefore, we need to explore the tal negativity might be involved in response monitoring cognitive processes of the deception to show its details. and conflict detection . The medial frontal negativity The two procedures, namely, cue-target and target-cue, were by compared through the features of medial frontal elicited by the directed and self-generated lies were due negativity. to different patterns of brain activity respectively, and were both different from that of truthful medial frontal negativity . Methods To study the cognitive process of deception, the Participants researchers categorized the general types of processes Nineteen right-handed (determined by Henkel’s digitiz- that mightbeusedbya deceptiveanswer. Although ing tablet method ) subjects participated in this deception does not specify the cognitive processes experiment (10 female,9 male), all of whom had normal involved, its process can be divided into two broad stages: or corrected to normal vision and did not have any his- (1) the cognitive/emotional processes used to formulate tory of neurological disease. Data from three female sub- factors such as intent and strategies relevant to a decep- jects were discarded because of too many artifacts. The tion; and (2) those used in the act of deception . The valid subjects were 18.6 to 26.4 years old (mean age: task procedures used in this study are equivalent to the 22.3 years). The experiment procedure was in accor- above mentioned process of deception. First, participants dance with the ethical principle of the 1964 Declaration see the cues and decide that they should make a decep- of Helsinki (World Medical Organization). tive answer; subsequently, they carry out the deceptive action required. Therefore, this research procedure can Materials properly represent the process of deception. Facial pictures were chosen as stimuli and were deliv- In a standard research procedure of deceptive pro- ered through E-Prime software (Version 1.2) (Psychol- cesses, participants were asked to press one button upon ogy Software Tools Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA). seeing an old word and the other button for a new word. All stimuli pictures were taken from the Internet. In In deceptive condition, they were then told ‘to lie or try order to avoid the fondness for special people, no celeb- to hide what they know by intentionally pressing the rities such as movie stars or politicians were selected. answer opposite the instructions’ [16,21]. Whether the All of the stimuli pictures were selected from ordinary participants should respond truthfully or deceptively people and were unfamiliar with the participants. The relied on the cue stimuli. There are two variations for emotional expressions of people in the pictures were Dong et al. Behavioral and Brain Functions 2010, 6:63 Page 3 of 9 http://www.behavioralandbrainfunctions.com/content/6/1/63 Figure 1 Different experimental procedures in deceptive study neutral (28 university students were asked to evaluate In step 2, each trial started with a small white cross the expression of the facial pictures (positive, negative, (+) in the center of the screen against a black back- and neutral). Only those neural pictures with no disac- ground for 250 ms. Then, a cue word ‘T’ for ‘truthful’ cords were selected). All the stimuli pictures measured and ‘D’ for ‘deceptive’ was presented randomly in the 360 (width) × 480 (length) pixels (when running the center of the screen for 1000 ms (before the experiment, E-Prime software, the whole screen measures 640 × 480 participants were informed about the meaning of T and pixels). The pictures showed the front part of the face D). The stimulus picture was presented for 1000 ms and at least two thirds of the entire picture was the after the instructive cue. Participants were instructed to face. All the pictures were colored gray with a black make truthful ‘attractive or unattractive’ judgments background. about the pictures when the cue word was ‘T’ and were To select the facial stimuli, 28 college students were required to press key ‘1’ for attractive pictures and key asked to rate the valence of 300 pictures (valence: attrac- ‘2’ for unattractive pictures. In deceptive conditions, par- tive vs. ugly; arousal level) by self-report using a five- ticipants were required to make judgments about the point rating scale before formal study. Based on their rat- pictures and give the opposite responses when the cue word was ‘D’. In fact, they were told to lie or to try hid- ing results, 60 attractive (30 men, 30 women) and 60 unattractive facial pictures (30 men, 30 women) were ing their real evaluation by doing exactly the opposite selected as stimuli materials in our study. These two reaction after the stimuli disappeared. In step 3, the pro- types of pictures showed a significant difference in cedures were of the same with step 2 except the target valence values (attractive: 3.87 ± 0.68; unattractive: 1.35 ± stimuli were presented first, and the cue words were 0.56) [F(1,27) = 6.601, p < 0.01]. The arousal levels were presented after the target stimuli. about the same (attractive: 2.87 ± 0.64; unattractive: 2.75 Step 2 and 3 consisted of two blocks each and were ± 0.59). All pictures were presented in both of these two tested in ABBA order to counterbalance potential test- blocks. There are 60 trials for each condition. As the ‘eva- ing order effect. In the A section, participants perform luation’ is a subjective judgment process, and the perso- cue-target procedure, in the B section, participant per- nal viewpoints may disturb the final results, we excluded form target-cue task first. Each subject participated in the answers that were not agreed with defaulted values. all of these three steps, with counter-balanced order of the latter two steps between subjects (ABBA, BAAB). Tasks and procedures Subjects were seated in a quiet room, approximately 80 ERP recording cm away from a computer screen (DELL, 17-inch LCD High-density ERPs were recorded from each participant monitor, 60-Hz refresh rate) with less than 5° of visual using a 128-channel geodesic sensor net (Electrical Geo- angle in both horizontal and vertical directions. All sub- desics Inc., (EGI) Eugene, Oregon, USA) coupled with a jects were required to fixate at the screen during all high input impedance amplifier. The EEG was continu- tasks. ouslyrecordedatasamplerateof250 Hz.Whenever The study was divided into three steps. In the first possible, impedances were reduced to less than 50 KΩ one, the pilot process, each trial started with a small prior to recording with the vertical electrooculograms white cross (+) at the center of the screen against a (EOG) recorded at the left orbital rim and the horizon- black background for 250 ms followed by a stimulus tal EOG recorded at the right orbital rim. picture shown for 1000 ms. Participants were instructed to press relevant keys with the fingers they used mostly ERP averaging in their right hand when the stimuli disappeared (attrac- ThedatawereanalyzedofflinewiththesoftwareNet- tive, 1; unattractive, 2). A 500 ms black screen would Station (Electrical Geodesics Inc., Eugene, Oregon, appear as inter-trail interval after a response was made. USA). Trials with incorrect responses (responses differ- The main purpose of this step was to familiarize partici- ent with defaulted value) and trials with EOG artifacts pants with the task procedure. Data from step 1 were (>50 μV) were discarded. In present study, responses not included in future analyses. that were not agreed with defaulted value were thought Dong et al. Behavioral and Brain Functions 2010, 6:63 Page 4 of 9 http://www.behavioralandbrainfunctions.com/content/6/1/63 incorrect. Such as there is an attractive face, the cue is times (RT) of the deceptive responses for the Truthful ‘deceptive’, and then the right answer should be ‘unat- trials in cue-target, Truthful trials in target-cue, Decep- tractive’.However,ifparticipantsanswered ‘attractive’, tive trials in cue-target, and Deceptive trials in target-cue that answer is incorrect. The data were filtered with a were 385.1 ms (SD = 116.5), 379.7 ms (SD = 114.9),487.3 band pass of 0.3-30 Hz. EEG activity for the correct ms (SD = 149.7) and 493.2 ms (SD = 156.9), respectively. response in each valence condition was overlapped and The RT in Truthful conditions were significant shorter pre-processed (filter, epoch, artifact detection, bad chan- than in deceptive conditions (cue-target [F(2,30) = 4.933, nel replacement, average reference, separate average, p < 0.05], target-cue [F(2,30) = 5.025, p < 0.05]). No baseline correction) separately. The ERP waveforms significant difference was found between target-cue were averagely referenced and response-locked (0 ms is and cue-target procedures [F(2,30) = 0.902, p >0.05] the time point when participants made response). The (Figure 2). average epoch was 400 ms, including a 200 ms pre- response baseline. The percentage of rejected epochs in ERP results each condition was less than 25%. If the rejected epochs In the cue-target procedure, the medial frontal negativity exceeded that number, data of this participant would be in deceptive condition showed significant higher mean excluded from further analysis. amplitude than that in truthful condition [F(2,30) = 5.193, Localization studies have consistently placed the p < 0.05]; this feature was also found between deceptive neural generator of the error related negativity in the and truthful conditions in target-cue procedure [F(2,30) = medial frontal lobes, in or near the anterior cingulate 4.653, p < 0.05]. No significant difference of peak latencies cortex [23,24]. Additionally, topographic maps showed was found between deceptive and truthful conditions in the anterior cingulate cortex were activated during this cue-target [F(2,30) = 1.127, p > 0.05] and target-cue process. So, in our study, we selected F3, Fz, F4, FC3, [F(2,30) = 0.795, p > 0.05] procedures. These results FCz, FC4, (6 frontal sites), C3, Cz, C4 (3 central sites) showed consistency with previous results about the fea- for analysis. Repeated ANOVAs were conducted to test tures of medial frontal negativity between deceptive and the difference between different procedures (cue-target, truthful conditions [1,10,18]. Further analysis showed that target-cue) in medial frontal negativity (40-90 ms) com- the distribution were different between cue-target and ponents. Because the data from multiple electrode sites target-cue in deceptive conditions. In cue-target proce- may lead to a violation of the sphericity assumption, dure, all sites showed significant higher amplitude for the Bonferroni correction was applied for multiple post-hoc Deceptive than the Truthful condition. However, only (LSD) comparisons when appropriate. frontal sites (F3, Fz, F4, FC3, FCz, FC4) were showed sig- nificant difference between target-cue (deceptive) and Source estimation truthful conditions. No significant difference was found Source estimates of the scalp potential were accom- in central sites between them. plished using the GeoSource electrical source imaging software (EGI, Eugene, OR). GeoSource used a finite dif- ference model (FDM) for the accurate computation of the leading field in relation to cranial orifices (primarily optical canals and foramen magnum). Conductivity values that used in the FDM model were as follow: 0.25 S/m (Siemens/meter) for brain, 1.8 S/m for cerebral spinal fluid,0.018 S/m for skull, and 0.44 S/m for scalp . Source locations were derived from the Montreal Neurological Institute probabilistic MRI. Once the head model was constructed, an average of the 128-channel positions was registered to the scalp surface. To com- pute the estimates of the sources, a minimum norm solution with the LAURA (local autoregressive average) constraint  was employed. Results Behavioral performance Figure 2 Reaction times in different conditions.Figure2show Responses that were too fast (less than 100 ms), too slow the reaction times in truthful and deceptive conditions in cue-target (more than 1000 ms), and incorrect responses were and target-cue procedures. excluded from the final analysis. The mean reaction Dong et al. Behavioral and Brain Functions 2010, 6:63 Page 5 of 9 http://www.behavioralandbrainfunctions.com/content/6/1/63 ERP waveforms of deceptive conditions in both cue- found in peak latencies between these two procedures target and target-cue procedures showed distinct medial [F(2,30) = 1.021, p > 0.05]. frontal negativity components. The cue-target procedure elicited a more negative ERP deflection between 40 ms Source estimation results and 90 ms over the central-frontal scalp regions than The estimated source regions contributing to the medial target-cue procedures (Figure 3). A significant main frontal negativity, at its peak, were illustrated in Figure 4. effect was found between cue-target and target-cue For the medial frontal negativity that associated with the deceptive procedures in mean amplitude [F(2,30) = cue-target procedure in the post-response state, sources 9.922, p < 0.01]. Peak latencies were also compared were identified in three clusters: (1) medial frontal gyrus between deceptive conditions in cue-target and target- (Brodmann area (BA) 6 and 8), (2) dorsal anterior cingu- cue procedures, however, no significant difference was late cortex (BA 24 and 32) and (3) ventral medial frontal Figure 3 Grand averaged waveforms at Fz, FCz, and Cz in different procedures (Left); Topographical maps in different procedures at 70 ms after response (Right) Dong et al. Behavioral and Brain Functions 2010, 6:63 Page 6 of 9 http://www.behavioralandbrainfunctions.com/content/6/1/63 gyrus (BA 10), orbital gyrus (BA 11). In comparison, for The task has advantages over the previous paradigms. the target-cue procedure, sources were identified in only First, it is not memory-based response conflicts; such one clusters, which located in frontal areas (about near that, the participants need only to respond according to anterior cingulate cortex area). The difference between their current judgment. Second, deception is usually these two deceptive procedures can be found in activity accompanied by an emotion experience, and deception levels and the related source areas (Figure 4). in terms of assessing attractiveness/unattractiveness is most likely to occur in real life . Discussion Behavioral data in RT showed that deceptive condi- Face evaluation task was employed to test the order tions were more difficult (longer RT) than truthful con- effects of the deception-indicating cue and the target sti- ditions in relation to presenting orders. The increased mulus with a response-locked experimental paradigm. behavioral cost of making directed lies about the Figure 4 Source estimates for medial frontal negativity in 70 ms after response in different deceptive procedures. In this figure, brighter colors denote stronger current sources. The figure shows the source estimation results for medial frontal negativity in target-cue and cue-target procedures in 70 ms (peak of medial frontal negativity) after response. Dong et al. Behavioral and Brain Functions 2010, 6:63 Page 7 of 9 http://www.behavioralandbrainfunctions.com/content/6/1/63 evaluation can be found with the greater RT costs. and anterior cingulated cortex during deception . Therefore, conflict effect can be observed clearly. The The analyses found that the source estimate of the decep- results were consistent with previous findings on decep- tive condition in cue-target procedure is more consistent tive processes [1,10,18]. In addition, no significant differ- with the fMRI results of deception compared with of the ence was found between the deceptive conditions in target-cue procedure. cue-target and target-cue procedures; but the difference Results of ERP waveforms (broader distribution, more similarities with previous results, higher amplitude) and between these two conditions was found in ERP results. the source estimation (more activation areas) showed For ERP results, deceptive condition showed higher that the cue-target procedure was better than the target- medial frontal negativity mean amplitudes than truthful condition in both target-cue and cue-target procedures. cue procedure in measuring deceptive processes. This is This indicates that these two deceptive research proce- a result of the sequence of the mental processes that dures have significant similarity during the conduct of caused by the sequence of presentation of cue and target the processes in ERP waveforms. The ERP features were in different deceptive procedures. The sequence of men- consistent with previous results about medial frontal tal processes distinguishes one procedure from another. negativity . Further analysis showed the difference In the cue-target procedure, participants knew before- between the procedures: the distribution regions of this hand whether they should make a deceptive response significant effect were different. In the deceptive condi- according to the prior cue. When the target stimulus tion of cue-target procedure, the significant effect can was presented, they immediately evaluated the feature of be found over the frontal-central sites. This is in accor- target while trying to suppress their real thoughts. The dance with previous studies on the distribution of the mental process ‘evaluate-deceptive’ was similar to the medial frontal negativity using other deceptive processes real deceptive process in daily life (deceptive idea is con- . However, only frontal sites showed significant ceived first prior to performing it). On the other hand, effect in the deceptive condition of target-cue procedure; in the target-cue procedure, participants evaluated the no significant difference was found in central sites. pictures first when the target stimulus was presented. Medial frontal negativity was observed at 40-90 ms Subsequently, they coordinated their previous judgment after the response in deceptive conditions in both cue- and responded according to the following cue stimulus. target and target-cue procedures. The comparison results The mental process ‘coordination’ serves as an executive between the valences indicate that the deceptive condi- control process in regulating our thoughts and behaviors (the conflicting or mismatch process) . The decep- tion in cue-target procedure elicited a more negative ERP tive process is comparable with conflicting process. deflection than in target-cue procedure in the central- frontal area. Results were consistent with previous studies The medial frontal negativity results indicate that the in which the deceptive responses elicited significantly lar- anterior cingulate cortex plays an important role in both ger medial frontal negativity compared to the truthful controlling and monitoring a person’s actions or deci- responses [1,10,18]. The medial frontal negativity compo- sions when conflicting information arise while determin- nent has been linked to response monitoring and the ing which response is correct [32-34]. Previous studies degree of response conflict created by a stimulus showed that the brain activity associated with response [10,11,18,28,29]. The medialfrontalnegativity was conflicts, that occurred during the execution of decep- believed to reflect activity in anterior cingulate cortex, a tive responses, was independent of the source of the brain area involved in monitoring actions and resolving conflicting response information; accordingly, both per- conflicting response tendencies [1,16]. Therefore, the ceptually- and memory-based conflicts appear to enlist higher medial frontal negativity in the deceptive condi- the activity of the same medial frontal brain circuits tion in cue-target procedure compared with the deceptive . Similar to previous results [35,36], these response condition in target-cue procedure indicates that the par- conflicts were processed by patterns of brain activity ticipants engaged more attention resource in monitoring that differed from those used to process conflicts and detecting conflict situations. regarding proper stimulus categorization (i.e., the old- The estimated source regions contributing to different new differences). Therefore, ERP features in conflicting deception procedures, at their peaks, are illustrated in process were similar with those in deceptive process; the Figure 4. In the deceptive condition of cue-target proce- cue-target procedure was more consistent with the real dure, sources were identified in three clusters;, while in deceptive procedure, while the target-cue procedure in measuring deception served as an executive process in target-cue procedures, only one cluster was found. Pre- the minds of the participants. In summary, different vious mapping studies have reported the activation of mental processes elicited brain activities during experi- discrete anterior frontal regions during deception. These regions are the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, dorsolat- mental procedures. This explains the difference between eral prefrontal cortex, dorsal medial prefrontal cortex, these two procedures. Dong et al. Behavioral and Brain Functions 2010, 6:63 Page 8 of 9 http://www.behavioralandbrainfunctions.com/content/6/1/63 6. Mameli F, Mrakic-Sposta S, Vergari M, Fumagalli M, Macis M, Ferrucci R, Limitations and future directions Nordio F, Consonni D, Sartori G, Priori A: Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex Some limitations of thepresent studyshouldbenoted. specifically processes general - but not personal - knowledge deception: First, during the intending process, controlling the parti- Multiple brain networks for lying. BehavBrain Res 2010, 211:164-168. 7. 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Behavioral and Brain Functions – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 22, 2010
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