Life

Unveiling the Truth Behind Pinocchio’s Nose: The Science of Lying and Nose Sensitivity

  In the fairy tale “Pinocchio”, whenever Pinocchio lies, his nose will grow longer, and the more times he lies, the longer his nose will become. So, why is the protagonist in “Pinocchio” set to have his nose grow longer after lying, rather than other organs changing? In other words, is lying really about the nose?
  The answer is yes.
  The nose is a particularly sensitive human organ with a large number of nerve endings. When we receive stimulation from the outside world, these nerve endings will convert the stimulation into electrical signals and conduct them to the nerve center. Therefore, when the human body’s nervous system is working, the nose is bound to change. For example, when we are emotional, our noses usually expand slightly, which is actually a way to speed up the supply of oxygen to the body.
  Recently, researchers from the University of Granada in Spain recruited a group of volunteers and used temperature recording methods to study the relationship between lying and the nose. Researchers found that when volunteers lied, the temperature at the tip of their noses would rise, and the volunteers could also feel their noses getting hotter. This temperature change was caused by the anxiety caused by lying. The researchers explained that when people feel that they are lying, a substance in the brain called the “insular cortex” will be activated, the activity of the insula will increase, and the body temperature will increase accordingly.
  The researchers also found that because lying made the volunteers feel nervous and ashamed, it mobilized the body’s nerves and released neurotransmitters to the nerve endings around the nose, causing the nose to produce a stress response. Therefore, when lying, volunteers often itch their noses and subconsciously touch their noses. This explains why in life, when we are embarrassed or feel guilty, we subconsciously touch our noses.
  However, researchers found that when volunteers made psychological suggestions to themselves and lost the sense of shame, their noses would cool down again. To further confirm this phenomenon, the researchers then asked the volunteers to quickly make up lies and complete a few minutes of phone calls with their parents, friends, and lovers. At the same time, during the experiment, the researchers used infrared thermal imaging to measure the temperature of different parts of the volunteers’ faces. In this experiment, volunteers were more eager to complete the lie, which weakened the shame caused by lying. At this time, lying not only did not increase the temperature of the nose, but created a low-temperature area around the nose, but the temperature of the forehead increased slightly. Through specific data, it was found that the former can drop by 0.6°C to 1.22°C, and the latter can rise by 0.6°C to 1.5°C. Similarly, during this process, the volunteers’ noses not only did not expand slightly, but also contracted slightly. This phenomenon is just the opposite of the “Pinocchio effect” in which the temperature of the nose increases and the wings of the nose slightly expand after lying. Scientists call it the “reverse Pinocchio effect.”
  The researchers explained: “Because people have to use their brains when lying, the temperature of the forehead will increase. At the same time, because people tend to be nervous and anxious when lying, the temperature around the nose will decrease, and the greater the temperature difference between the forehead and the tip of the nose.” , then the possibility of lying is greater.”
  Whether it is the “Pinocchio effect” or the “reverse Pinocchio effect”, they all show the fact that as long as we lie, there will always be some discomfort and changes in the nose.

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