Your nose may not grow like Pinocchio’s but it can still show when you’re lying.
According to a new study from the University of Granada in Spain, the nose heats up when someone isn’t telling the truth.
Fox News reports that researchers used thermography to study the various temperatures on a person’s face. The researchers found that the area around the nose, as well as the inner corner of the eye, heat up when someone is performing a stressful mental task like lying.
The Daily Mail reports that the study on the so-called “Pinocchio effect” has yet to be published in a scientific peer-reviewed journal.
There are, however, several other studies that have used thermography to study different emotional and physiological states. One past study showed that the the chest and genitals heat up during sexual arousal for both men and women. A separate study conducted at the University of Patras in Greece found that body temperature could be used to detect a person who has imbibed alcohol. In that study, researchers found that the nose and mouth regions got hotter as people drank more alcohol.
Another interesting finding involved empathy. According to researchers, a person who saw another person getting shocked in the forearm felt the temperature of their own forearm heat up, as if they were feeling the other person’s pain.
Carlo Collodi wrote the story of Pinocchio in the 1800s so it’s pretty safe to say that he didn’t have any fancy medical equipment to determine facial temperatures. Still, Collodi should probably be given partial credit for discovering the Pinocchio effect.