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Trends Cogn Sci. 2009 Dec;13(12):524-31. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2009.10.002. Epub 2009 Nov 4.

The neural correlates of race.

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  • 1University of Colorado, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, 345 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0345, USA.


Behavioral analyses are a natural choice for understanding the wide-ranging behavioral consequences of racial stereotyping and prejudice. However, studies using neuroimaging and electrophysiological research have recently considered the neural mechanisms that underlie racial categorization and the activation and application of racial stereotypes and prejudice, revealing exciting new insights. Work that we review here points to the importance of neural structures previously associated with face processing, semantic knowledge activation, evaluation and self-regulatory behavioral control, enabling specification of a neural model of race processing. We show how research on the neural correlates of race can serve to link otherwise disparate lines of evidence on the neural underpinnings of a broad array of social-cognitive phenomena; we also consider the implications for effecting change in race relations.

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