London: Your lips can, but your hips can`t lie, say scientists.
Yes, the way you move while walking can betray details about what mood you are in, your health and even if you are lying, says a team at Swansea University.
The scientists have discovered that by measuring tiny, barely perceptible differences in the way a person walks makes it possible to spot whether they`re telling the truth and can reveal the emotions they are feeling.
The same microscopic movements could also be used to detect whether someone is going to fall ill before they feel any symptoms, say the scientists.
Prof Rory Wilson, who led the team, has developed a device that is capable of recording up to a hundred movements every second when worn on a belt or around an ankle.
He initially developed the device, known as the Daily Diary, to study the behaviour of penguins in the wild but has been adapting it for use in other animals and humans, `The
Sunday Telegraph` reported.
He said: "We are using high-end physics to precisely measure the postural changes between 50 and 100 times a second. These tiny movements betray what is going on. The implications for lie detectors are profound. How much are we unconsciously telling our story without realising it?
"That would be very useful to police to be able to pick that up. We have been doing some work with humans and it is possible to tell their mood or state of mind from the movements they make."
Although the work on mood and lie detection has yet to be published, early findings from the experiments he and his colleagues have been conducting show it is highly effective.
Current approaches for lie detection rely upon detecting changes in heart beat, sweating or brain activity. Changes in the levels of stress hormones in the blood can also give a liar away.
Professor Wilson, however, explained that the Daily Diary, which uses accelerometers to detect body movements and is little bigger than a watch, can be simply worn on a belt or the wrist to record information about the way a person walks.
They been asking volunteers to walk down a corridor after performing a test where they have been asked to lie or after they`ve watched videos intended to provoke a particular mood.
The data can then be used to match particular movements in the volunteers` gait to different emotions.
"If you think about the way you move when you are happy there tends to be a spring in your step. If you are furious you will stomp down while if you are depressed you will have your shoulders slumped.
"We are looking for these things but on a much smaller scale to pick up micro-movements that are related to emotional states," said Professor Wilson.