Brain Imaging Suggests A Great Way To Reverse Cultural Biases

Brain Imaging Suggests A Great Way To Reverse Cultural Biases Jay Sprogell via Giphy

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A Look Into The Study

A brain imaging study published in the journal Neuropsychologia entitled 'Racial outgroup favoritism in neural responses to others' pain emerges during sociocultural interactions' in the September 9, 2022 edition is making waves.

The study found students with low melanin in their skin from outside of China showed stronger neural responses to pain in Asian faces as compared to those with lower melanin in their skin. Meaning interactions with those with differing degrees of melanin, of different ethnicities, and nationalities increase the level of empathy people feel toward those individuals.

Why The Study Is Important

Current studies suggest people often respond more strongly to those from the same cultural identity as their own, possibly attributed to thousands of years without globalization and continued isolation on societal and cultural grounds even to this day.

Study author Yuqing Zhou, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wuerzburg said about the findings, "Racial ingroup favoritism in empathic brain activity has been widely observed and is associated with biased behavior toward same-race and other-race individuals," he continues. "Therefore, it is important to understand how racial ingroup favoritism could be changed through daily sociocultural experiences. This would help with the development of the future intervening approach to reduce racial ingroup favoritism."

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