A select group of people have a unique ability to spot when someone is lying, US research shows.

A University of San Francisco study found only 31 people out of 13,000 could identify in nearly all cases when someone was lying.

The group used facial expressions, body language and ways of talking and thinking to spot liars while the others did little better than chance.

The team are now using them to help train police and other investigators.

In the tests, during which the participants were shown video clips of people, the select group, dubbed wizards, were able to observe a few seconds of footage and detect lying.

The study said the wizards had a “natural talent” although they were highly motivated and tended to be older.

Police, lawyers and FBI agents were all among the groups who were unable to tell if people were lying.

The wizards’ success rate was even higher than the traditional polygraph test, which is used in the US and is claimed to have a 60% to 70% success rate.

More here.