Brain Scan Roots Out Racists

5

A
brain scan to identify racists? But how do we get the suspected racists
to submit to scanning? And what do we do with the racists once we identify
them? None of it made sense until the Dowbrigade noticed that the institution
hosting this racist research was none other than the Ivy League’s Dartmouth
College, which is located waaay up in the wilds of New Hampshire, where
the magnificent isolation obviously inspires them to groundbreaking
research like this. Any inside dirt, Lisa Chau?

A brain scan that can apparently root out racists has been developed
by scientists.

The technique was used on white volunteers shown photographs of black
individuals.
In those with racist tendencies, a surge of activity was seen in part
of the brain that controls thoughts and behaviour.

After interacting with real black individuals, the same group performed
poorly in a task designed to test mental resources. The American researchers
concluded that harbouring racial prejudice, even unintentionally, stirred
up an inner struggle that exhausted the
brain.

Dr Jennifer Richeson, assistant professor of psychological and brain
sciences at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, said: "We
were surprised to find brain activity in response to faces of black individuals
predicted how research participants performed on cognitive tasks after
actual interracial interactions."

from
Dartmouth College press release

5 Comments

  1. IMarcher

    May 8, 2008 @ 2:54 pm

    1

    Why has no one pointed out the racism in testing ‘whites’ only? Are you all racists?

  2. Mike

    May 8, 2008 @ 4:46 pm

    2

    I think that what exhausted the group and made them perform poorly in the test was the fact that stooping to the level and talking to African-Americans made them temporarily dumber.

  3. GaryD

    March 29, 2009 @ 9:29 pm

    3

    I am curious as to which type of brain scan was used (PET, fMRI, etc.) and which specific part of the brain the change was noted in. This info would be very useful and informative. Further, the author here should try to link to the actual case study if possible – else it’s just hear-say.

    Nevertheless, it seems plausible that any emotional response to a situation would elicit a response in the brain. So the results of the study are not surprising.

    Perhaps someday brain scan technology such as PET and fMRI will be used and accepted much like lie detectors are today and for similar purposes.

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    September 25, 2010 @ 8:34 pm

    4

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    November 19, 2010 @ 9:54 am

    5

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