The FFA (fusiform face area) along with the whole ventral temporal cortex (VT cortex) are involved in facial recognition. Scientists are able to distinguish which race face one is viewing, simply by VT cortex activity.
Now, I went into this wanting to be impartial especially as I have Republican friends, but the science just isn’t there to support impartiality. In every study I’ve read, Republicans attract negative, racially biased voters and maybe by design. There are now enough studies to corroborate this fact and interestingly there don’t seem to be any to contradict them.
This doesn’t mean all Republicans are racists; some are good people. Nor as many critics suggest, are the universities and scientists anti-conservative. In their book “Blind Spot” by Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald, professors of psychology at Harvard and the University of Washington, respectively say: Most of us may hold biases so when we go out of our way to help people like ourselves we’re being “good” people. Self-deception is understandable but such selective privileging reinforces the status quo. The best indicator of the validity of this is predictive behavior is how it transitions into the poor treatment of blacks.
Is there a baseline for a “model mind?” Are we to one day set an ideal attainable moral and ethical value? Scientists debate whether such higher-order processes as consciousness and morality have their own real estate in the brain. Luckily the mind can be investigated and fMRI is now an essential tool for researchers around the world wanting to watch the brain at work. “It provides information that can’t be obtained with any other approach right now,” said Hal Blumenfeld, M.D., Ph.D. professor of neurology, Yale University. The method is noninvasive and shows the whole brain at once.
Jon Krosnick, a political scientist at Stanford University says: “If anyone in Washington is skeptical about these findings, they are in denial. We have 50 years of evidence that racial prejudice predicts voting. Republicans are supported by whites with racial prejudice. If people say, ‘This takes me aback,’ they are ignoring a huge volume of research.”
With all this peering into the mind using fMRI and other methods like EEG, CT, electrodes and sensors, others have taken notice. Many of the cynics are now embracing the findings. Lawyers want the technology for screening jurors, law enforcement want the lie detection capabilities. Companies like No Lie MRI want to provide those detection services. DHS wants fMRI for predictive pre-crime terrorism technology along with the military. Advertisers, entrepreneurs and neuro-marketers want in too. Employers want to pre-screen job applicants.
David Adam at the The Guardian writes, “This new research raises the possibility that police recruits could be screened for bias.” At its most far-reaching, the study raises the possibility that the minds of people, including police, firemen, educators, etcetera, could be screened for racist attitudes. A leader in this research, Professor Jennifer Richeson, Dartmouth College concurs and says: “I was shocked. I couldn’t believe we got this correspondence with the brain activity!”
As for me, I detest explicit racism and believe it should be a recognized mental health disorder!
For more fMRI studies: NYU, SUNY, UCLA, Yale, Stanford, Carnegie Melon, Dartmouth, University of Chicago, Columbia, Exeter, Emory, Cornell, University of Sydney, Oxford, University of Freiburg, Temple University, University of Geneva and many others.
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Latest posts by Robert Torres (see all)
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