WASHINGTON (AP) - The more we lie -- the easier it gets.

A new study finds that when we tell little fibs, it leads down a slippery slope to bigger lies. And our brains adapt to the escalating dishonesty, which makes lying easier.

Neuroscientists at the University College in London put 80 people into scenarios in which they could repeatedly lie. And the bigger their lie, the more they'd get paid.

The researchers say they were the first to demonstrate that people's lies grow bolder the more they fib.

According to a study published online in the journal Nature Neuroscience, they used brain scans to show that our brain's emotional hot spot becomes desensitized, or accustomed to the growing dishonesty.

One researcher says, "It highlights the potential dangers of engaging in small acts of dishonesty on a regular basis because these can escalate to much larger ones further down the line."