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Dr Aviad Hadar

Honorary Research Fellow

Department of Psychology

Cognitive Neuroscience Research Unit


T: +44 (0)20 7040 4575

Thesis title: TMS investigations of deception and response conflict in primary motor cortex

Supervisor: Dr Kielan Yarrow

Overview and research interests

Aviad has recently completed his PhD and is currently directing a new research project with Professor Abraham Zangen at Ben Gurion University involving top down modulation of the reward system using rTMS.

In his PhD research Aviad investigated whether conflict between two plans for movement can be used to discriminate between truth-telling and deceit. His research was based on the idea that lying inevitably involves partial retrieval of the truth. Consider the following act of deception: you decide to lie and intentionally tell someone that you have never seen this webpage.

This seemingly simple process must first involve retrieval of the fact that you have seen this webpage, followed by suppression of this truth and only then generation of alternative false information. In fact, false responding without deliberate consideration of the truth would only count as a mistake, not a lie. Hence, instead of focusing on general arousal like traditional polygraphs, Aviad's research attempted to capitalise on this transient and partial activation of the truth in the process of lying for lie detection.

To achieve this he used behavioural paradigms combined with single pulse Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and Motor Evoked Potentials (MEP) to find evidence for a conflict between motor programmes a few milliseconds prior to lying. His data demonstrated that when people lie, neural populations associated with the truth in primary motor cortex are activated involuntarily.

This suggests that in principle the dynamics of response competition in the motor cortex can be used to discriminate between lying and truth-telling. Another significant finding of Aviad's doctoral research was that decision-making operations do not serially precede the generation of motor plans even when the goal is deception and the relevant motor plans all reside within a single hemisphere of the brain.

This extends previous findings about intra-hemispheric response selection mechanisms in the motor cortex while providing a novel, scientifically principled approach to interrogative polygraphy.

Research interests

  • Motor neuroscience
  • Response competition
  • Motor plans conflict
  • Automatic activation and inhibition of the motor system
  • MEP-based lie detection

Aviad has a BSc Psychology, City University London (2009)


Selected publications

  • Hadar, A., Hadas, I., Lazarovits, A., Alyagon, U., Eliraz, D., & Zangen, A. (2017). Answering the missed call: Initial exploration of cognitive and electrophysiological changes associated with smartphone use and abuse. PLoS ONE, 12(7), e0180094.
  • Hadar, A. A., Rowe, P., Di Costa, S., Jones, A., & Yarrow, K. (2016). Motor‐evoked potentials reveal a motor‐cortical readout of evidence accumulation for
    sensorimotor decisions. Psychophysiology, 53(11), 1721-1731.‏
  • Dinur-Klein, L., Dannon, P., Hadar, A., Rosenberg, O., Roth, Y., Kotler, M., & Zangen, A. (2014). Smoking cessation induced by deep repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation of the prefrontal and insular cortices: a prospective, randomized controlled trial. Biological psychiatry, 76(9), 742-749..
  • Makris, S., Grant, S., Hadar, A.A., Yarrow, K. (2014) Binocular vision enhances a rapidly evolving affordance priming effect: behavioural and TMS evidence. Brain and Cognition, 83(3):279-87
  • Makris, S., Hadar, A.A., Yarrow, K. (2013) Are object affordances fully automatic? A case of covert attention. Behavioural Neuroscience, 127(5):797-802.
  • Hadar, A.A., Makris, S., & Yarrow, K. (2012) The truth-telling motor cortex: Response competition in M1 discloses deceptive behaviour. Biological Psychology, Biological Psychology, 89, 495-502.
  • Hadar A. A, Makris S, Yarrow K. (2011). Single-Pulse-TMS-Related Syncopal Spell In a Healthy Subject, Brain stimulation, 5(4):652-3.
  • Makris, S., Hadar, A. A., & Yarrow, K. (2011). Viewing objects and planning actions: On the potentiation of grasping behaviours by visual objects, Brain & Cognition, 77, 257-64.
  • Hadar A. A, Makris S, Yarrow K. (2011). The truth-telling motor cortex: Response competition in M1 discloses deceptive behaviour, i-Perception, 2(4) 277.

Book chapters

  • Hadar A. A & Zangen A. “Brain stimulation as a novel technique for craving management and the treatment of addiction” in The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook on the Neuroscience of Addiction, in press.

Conference presentations and invited talks

  • Hadar, A , Alyagon U and Zangen A (2015). Answering the Missed Call: A TMS-EEG Investigation into Neural and Cognitive Costs of Smartphone Israeli Biological Psychiatry conference (ISBP) 2015. Winner of Research Excellence Award 2015.
  • Hadar, A , Alyagon U and Zangen A (2015). Answering the Missed Call: A TMS-EEG Investigation into Neural and Cognitive Costs of Smartphone Brain Stimulation Conference.
  • Yarrow K, Hadar A, Rowe P, Di Costa S,  Jones A 4 Hadar, A (2014) Motor-evoked potentials reveal a motor-cortical readout of evidence accumulation for sensorimotor decisions. Invited talk at Vision Society Conference.
  • Hadar A, (2013) The truth-telling motor cortex: Response competition in M1 discloses deceptive behavior. Invited talk at Ben Gurion University Annual Psychology Seminar.
  • Hadar, A,A (2012). Intra-hemispheric mechanism of response selection Neurotalk Conference on 2012. Awarded travel grant from The Guarantors of Brain UK.
  • Hadar, A,A (2011). The truth-telling motor cortex: Response competition in M1 discloses deceptive behavior. Poster presentation at Asia-Pacific Conference on Vision 2011.
  • Hadar, A.A., Makris, S,,Yarrow K (2011) . Lying involuntarily activates the truth. Poster presentation at the Oxford University Magstim TMS summer school.

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