Liars ‘have more white matter’

Oh, dear. The BBC are at it again. This time it’s a simple error, and one that’s a little hard for med students to get straight. Well, perhaps slow med students.

In the article Liars ‘have more white matter’: “The brains of habitual liars differ from those of honest people, a study in California suggests.”

Which is all well and good until you get to the heart of the problem:

“White matter is the brain’s thinking part – grey matter the wiring – and may provide the capacity to lie, it said.”

Grey is white, white is grey..

Oops. White matter is called that because its insulating coat (myelin) makes it look white, and shiny. Grey matter is made up of the nerve cells that actually do the thinking. It’s not a big error, but who’s proofreading their medical stories?

Update 9-30-05: the offending sentence has been corrected:

White matter transmits information and grey matter processes it. Having more white matter in the prefrontal cortex may aid lying, the researchers said,

dangling comma and all.

AAEM and ACEP join together to help a little guy

…also, dogs and cats living together.

Today I got an email from AAEM, and it makes me hopeful for the future of the individual doc in my specialty. Basically, a working EM doc was going to be screwed by a restrictive covenant meaning a job change equals a significant geography change.

AAEM went to bat for the doc, as did ACEP. The two of these groups working together is a very nice change, and bodes well for both academies. The end result is that the doc can change jobs without involving a moving van, which is how I think it should be.

The email is in the extended entry.
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MedBlogs Grand Rounds 53, or 2:1

It’s only two days late, and he didn’t include my submission, but here it is: Family Medicine Notes: Grand Rounds #53 Published