Wednesday, February 06, 2008

How Harvard students perceive rednecks: The neural basis for prejudice

I've been saying this for longer than I can remember, and have caught no end of grief from fundamentalist victims of the racist memeplex - mechanically spouting their unfalsifiable theories of the world via obsessive, compulsive, addictive, circular arguments founded in childish deductivism.

The source of many of the world's woes might be tracked to a specific brain area responsible for identifying people that are not of our ilk. If so, a study on the neural bases of prejudice and its modulation (read abstract or download the pdf), by Jason Mitchell and Mahzarin R. Banaji, of Harvard University, and C Neil Macrae, at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, published in Neuron in May 2006, could be as important to the burgeoning field of social cognitive neuroscience as Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech was to the American civil rights movement.