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Neuroreport. 2008 Jul 2;19(10):1021-5. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3283052df2.

Distinct processing of facial emotion of own-race versus other-race.

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Department of Psychiatry, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.


We investigated the neural basis underlying the effect of race on incidental facial emotional processing using functional MRI. Thirteen healthy Korean men underwent functional MRI while viewing photographs of Korean (own-race) and Caucasian (other-race) emotional faces while performing a sex discrimination task. Responses to other-race relative to own-race neutral faces replicated previous studies: activations were obtained in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex/medial frontal cortex. Direct contrasts between-race emotional faces (happy and sad) also showed differential effects: the contrast of own-race relative to other-race had more activations in limbic areas (amygdala and hippocampus), whereas the contrast of other-race relative to own-race had more activations in frontal, occipital, and parietal lobes. Our findings provide evidence for differential processing of emotional faces as a function of race.

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