Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Psychol Sci. 2004 Dec;15(12):806-13.

Separable neural components in the processing of black and white faces.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, Yale University, USA.


In a study of the neural components of automatic and controlled social evaluation, White participants viewed Black and White faces during event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging. When the faces were presented for 30 ms, activation in the amygdala-a brain region associated with emotion-was greater for Black than for White faces. When the faces were presented for 525 ms, this difference was significantly reduced, and regions of frontal cortex associated with control and regulation showed greater activation for Black than White faces. Furthermore, greater race bias on an indirect behavioral measure was correlated with greater difference in amygdala activation between Black and White faces, and frontal activity predicted a reduction in Black-White differences in amygdala activity from the 30-ms to the 525-ms condition. These results provide evidence for neural distinctions between automatic and more controlled processing of social groups, and suggest that controlled processes may modulate automatic evaluation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk