The prefrontal cortex is believed to be responsible for execution of deceptive behavior and its involvement is associated with greater cognitive efforts. It is also generally assumed that deception is associated with the inhibition of default honest actions. However, the precise neurophysiological mechanisms underlying this process remain largely unknown. The present study was aimed to use functional magnetic resonance imaging to reveal the underlying functional integration within the prefrontal cortex during the task which requires that subjects to deliberately mislead an opponent through the sequential execution of deceptive and honest claims. To address this issue, we performed psychophysiological interaction (PPI) analysis, which allows for statistical assessment of changes in functional relationships between active brain areas in changing psychological contexts. As a result the whole brain PPI-analysis established that both manipulative honest and deceptive claiming were associated with an increase in connectivity between the left middle frontal gyrus and right temporo-parietal junction (rTPJ). Taking into account the role played by rTPJ in processes associated with the theory of mind the revealed data can reflect possible influence of socio-cognitive context on the process of selecting manipulative claiming regardless their honest or deceptive nature. Direct comparison between deceptive and honest claims revealed pattern enhancement of coupling between the left middle frontal gyrus and the left inferior frontal gyrus. This finding provided evidence that the execution of deception relies to a greater extent on higher-order hierarchically-organized brain mechanisms of executive control required to select between two competing deceptive or honest task sets.
- Journal Article