Performance on indirect measures of race evaluation predicts amygdala activation

Elizabeth Phelps, Kevin J. O'Connor, William A. Cunningham, E. Sumie Funayama, J. Christopher Gatenby, John C. Gore, Mahzarin R. Banaji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We used fMRI to explore the neural substrates involved in the unconscious evaluation of Black and White social groups. Specifically, we focused on the amygdala, a subcortical structure known to play a role in emotional learning and evaluation. In Experiment 1, White American subjects observed faces of unfamiliar Black and White males. The strength of amygdala activation to Black-versus-White faces was correlated with two indirect (unconscious) measures of race evaluation (Implicit Association Test [IAT] and potentiated startle), but not with the direct (conscious) expression of race attitudes. In Experiment 2, these patterns were not obtained when the stimulus faces belonged to familiar and positively regarded Black and White individuals. Together, these results suggest that amygdala and behavioral responses to Black-versus-White faces in White subjects reflect cultural evaluations of social groups modified by individual experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)729-738
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Volume12
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000

Fingerprint

Amygdala
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
hydroquinone
Learning
Unconscious (Psychology)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Cite this

Phelps, E., O'Connor, K. J., Cunningham, W. A., Funayama, E. S., Gatenby, J. C., Gore, J. C., & Banaji, M. R. (2000). Performance on indirect measures of race evaluation predicts amygdala activation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 12(5), 729-738.

Performance on indirect measures of race evaluation predicts amygdala activation. / Phelps, Elizabeth; O'Connor, Kevin J.; Cunningham, William A.; Funayama, E. Sumie; Gatenby, J. Christopher; Gore, John C.; Banaji, Mahzarin R.

In: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Vol. 12, No. 5, 2000, p. 729-738.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Phelps, E, O'Connor, KJ, Cunningham, WA, Funayama, ES, Gatenby, JC, Gore, JC & Banaji, MR 2000, 'Performance on indirect measures of race evaluation predicts amygdala activation', Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, vol. 12, no. 5, pp. 729-738.
Phelps E, O'Connor KJ, Cunningham WA, Funayama ES, Gatenby JC, Gore JC et al. Performance on indirect measures of race evaluation predicts amygdala activation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 2000;12(5):729-738.
Phelps, Elizabeth ; O'Connor, Kevin J. ; Cunningham, William A. ; Funayama, E. Sumie ; Gatenby, J. Christopher ; Gore, John C. ; Banaji, Mahzarin R. / Performance on indirect measures of race evaluation predicts amygdala activation. In: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 2000 ; Vol. 12, No. 5. pp. 729-738.
@article{024551d633924cf4b006ceca80d443bd,
title = "Performance on indirect measures of race evaluation predicts amygdala activation",
abstract = "We used fMRI to explore the neural substrates involved in the unconscious evaluation of Black and White social groups. Specifically, we focused on the amygdala, a subcortical structure known to play a role in emotional learning and evaluation. In Experiment 1, White American subjects observed faces of unfamiliar Black and White males. The strength of amygdala activation to Black-versus-White faces was correlated with two indirect (unconscious) measures of race evaluation (Implicit Association Test [IAT] and potentiated startle), but not with the direct (conscious) expression of race attitudes. In Experiment 2, these patterns were not obtained when the stimulus faces belonged to familiar and positively regarded Black and White individuals. Together, these results suggest that amygdala and behavioral responses to Black-versus-White faces in White subjects reflect cultural evaluations of social groups modified by individual experience.",
author = "Elizabeth Phelps and O'Connor, {Kevin J.} and Cunningham, {William A.} and Funayama, {E. Sumie} and Gatenby, {J. Christopher} and Gore, {John C.} and Banaji, {Mahzarin R.}",
year = "2000",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "12",
pages = "729--738",
journal = "Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience",
issn = "0898-929X",
publisher = "MIT Press Journals",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Performance on indirect measures of race evaluation predicts amygdala activation

AU - Phelps, Elizabeth

AU - O'Connor, Kevin J.

AU - Cunningham, William A.

AU - Funayama, E. Sumie

AU - Gatenby, J. Christopher

AU - Gore, John C.

AU - Banaji, Mahzarin R.

PY - 2000

Y1 - 2000

N2 - We used fMRI to explore the neural substrates involved in the unconscious evaluation of Black and White social groups. Specifically, we focused on the amygdala, a subcortical structure known to play a role in emotional learning and evaluation. In Experiment 1, White American subjects observed faces of unfamiliar Black and White males. The strength of amygdala activation to Black-versus-White faces was correlated with two indirect (unconscious) measures of race evaluation (Implicit Association Test [IAT] and potentiated startle), but not with the direct (conscious) expression of race attitudes. In Experiment 2, these patterns were not obtained when the stimulus faces belonged to familiar and positively regarded Black and White individuals. Together, these results suggest that amygdala and behavioral responses to Black-versus-White faces in White subjects reflect cultural evaluations of social groups modified by individual experience.

AB - We used fMRI to explore the neural substrates involved in the unconscious evaluation of Black and White social groups. Specifically, we focused on the amygdala, a subcortical structure known to play a role in emotional learning and evaluation. In Experiment 1, White American subjects observed faces of unfamiliar Black and White males. The strength of amygdala activation to Black-versus-White faces was correlated with two indirect (unconscious) measures of race evaluation (Implicit Association Test [IAT] and potentiated startle), but not with the direct (conscious) expression of race attitudes. In Experiment 2, these patterns were not obtained when the stimulus faces belonged to familiar and positively regarded Black and White individuals. Together, these results suggest that amygdala and behavioral responses to Black-versus-White faces in White subjects reflect cultural evaluations of social groups modified by individual experience.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0033814346&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0033814346&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 12

SP - 729

EP - 738

JO - Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

JF - Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

SN - 0898-929X

IS - 5

ER -