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Neural signals in amygdala predict implicit prejudice toward an ethnic outgroup

Neural signals in amygdala predict implicit prejudice toward an ethnic outgroup
Neural signals in amygdala predict implicit prejudice toward an ethnic outgroup
Racial and ethnic prejudice is one of the most pressing problems in modern societies. Although previous social neuroscience research has suggested the amygdala as a key structure in racial prejudice, it still remains elusive whether the amygdala activity reflects negative attitudes toward an outgroup or other unrelated processes. The present study aims to rigorously test the role of the amygdala in negative prejudice toward an outgroup. Seventy Japanese individuals passively viewed images related to an ethnic outgroup (South Korea) inside a functional magnetic resonance imaging scanner. Using Multi-Voxel Pattern Analysis (MVPA), we found that Japanese individuals' level of implicit (but not explicit) evaluations of South Korea could be predicted from neural signals in the left amygdala. Our result further suggested that the medial and lateral parts of amygdala play different roles in implicit evaluations. In contrast to the MVPA findings, conventional univariate analyses failed to find any reliable relationship between brain activation and both implicit and explicit evaluations. Our findings provide evidence for the amygdala's role in representing an implicit form of prejudice and highlight the utility of the multivariate approach to reveal neural signatures of this complex social phenomenon.
1053-8119
341-352
Izuma, Keise
67894464-b2eb-4834-9727-c2a870587e5a
Aoki, Ryuta
e2f8e8e0-47fc-4ca9-b953-747ed42eff05
Shibata, Kazuhisa
6d722f2f-5880-4174-9e28-c3213a599975
Nakahara, Kiyoshi
b3257d30-6368-464c-8da6-652ac526b14c
Izuma, Keise
67894464-b2eb-4834-9727-c2a870587e5a
Aoki, Ryuta
e2f8e8e0-47fc-4ca9-b953-747ed42eff05
Shibata, Kazuhisa
6d722f2f-5880-4174-9e28-c3213a599975
Nakahara, Kiyoshi
b3257d30-6368-464c-8da6-652ac526b14c

Izuma, Keise, Aoki, Ryuta, Shibata, Kazuhisa and Nakahara, Kiyoshi (2019) Neural signals in amygdala predict implicit prejudice toward an ethnic outgroup. NeuroImage, 189, 341-352. (doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.01.019).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Racial and ethnic prejudice is one of the most pressing problems in modern societies. Although previous social neuroscience research has suggested the amygdala as a key structure in racial prejudice, it still remains elusive whether the amygdala activity reflects negative attitudes toward an outgroup or other unrelated processes. The present study aims to rigorously test the role of the amygdala in negative prejudice toward an outgroup. Seventy Japanese individuals passively viewed images related to an ethnic outgroup (South Korea) inside a functional magnetic resonance imaging scanner. Using Multi-Voxel Pattern Analysis (MVPA), we found that Japanese individuals' level of implicit (but not explicit) evaluations of South Korea could be predicted from neural signals in the left amygdala. Our result further suggested that the medial and lateral parts of amygdala play different roles in implicit evaluations. In contrast to the MVPA findings, conventional univariate analyses failed to find any reliable relationship between brain activation and both implicit and explicit evaluations. Our findings provide evidence for the amygdala's role in representing an implicit form of prejudice and highlight the utility of the multivariate approach to reveal neural signatures of this complex social phenomenon.

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181211Ethnic_Prejudice_final_version - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 14 January 2020.
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Accepted/In Press date: 8 January 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 14 January 2019
Published date: 1 April 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 427399
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/427399
ISSN: 1053-8119
PURE UUID: 7dd54ccb-6722-45c2-a327-a139d8d51efc

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Date deposited: 15 Jan 2019 17:30
Last modified: 26 Apr 2019 16:30

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Contributors

Author: Keise Izuma
Author: Ryuta Aoki
Author: Kazuhisa Shibata
Author: Kiyoshi Nakahara

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