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A neuroscientist explains how the ‘racist brain’ is driven by fear, and religiosity is the same brain damage


Veteran Member
Very interesting.....

The Neuroscience of Racial Bias

First of all, how do we know that racial biases actually exist? While some may claim that they have no biases, a clever psychological experiment provides objective evidence supporting the notion that the vast majority of us do. In the implicit bias task, participants are shown words on a computer screen like “happy” and “fear,” which they must categorize as positive or negative. What results have consistently shown is that if a black face is quickly flashed before the words, individuals will be faster to correctly categorize negative words, while the same people will be quicker to correctly categorize positive words when they follow white faces. These troubling findings suggest that over 75 percent of Whites and Asians have an implicit racial bias, which affects how they process information and perceive the social world around them.

However, this bias is subconscious and implicit. Whether or not it leads to overtly racist attitudes and behavior depends on an interplay between different brain areas—specifically those that create feelings of fear and promote tribalism, and those that help us regulate and suppress those bad instincts.

Neural Pathways Underlying Racism

Brain imaging studies have shown that people who display an implicit bias have a stronger electrical response to black or other-race faces in an area of the brain known as the amygdala—a structure responsible for processing emotional stimuli and eliciting a fearful or anxious mental state. An exaggerated amygdala response is part of what creates the sudden visceral or “gut feeling” of being scared. And that feeling of fear has additional psychological effects that promote prejudice. It is well-established that when one feels their welfare is being threatened, they tend to become more tribal in their behavior, and additionally bolster their cultural or national worldviews, since it is those worldviews that make them feel safe. In essence, nationalism and prejudice are knee-jerk responses to anxiety.

Fortunately, that isn’t the whole neuroscience story. In people with healthy functioning brains, the fast amygdala response activates a region of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex, which is slower and plays a regulatory role. When the fear system is triggered, prefrontral areas work to assess the situation rationally, and calm the pesky automatic system. Thanks to specific regions like the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and the anterior cingulate cortex, the brain exercises cognitive control, suppressing inappropriate or prejudice judgments and behavior.

The problem is, not everyone has a healthy functioning prefrontal cortex, and these people are the ones whose biases control them. They cannot reason those fearful surges away because they lack the cognitive mechanisms that normally allow people to do so. Interestingly, brain imaging studies have found links between impaired prefrontal lobe function and religious fundamentalism. While correlation does not always imply causation, a statistical connection between the two would suggest that religious extremism and intolerance for dissimilar others share brain dysfunction commonalities.

Explains why so many true xtians are bigoted scum as well.



Veteran Member
What did they find on the effects of those that are so immersed in social media?

Just two examples I posted below:

During the past decade, online social networking has caused profound changes in the way people communicate and interact. It is unclear, however, whether some of these changes may affect certain normal aspects of human behavior and cause psychiatric disorders.


Social Media Is Harmful to Your Brain and Relationships


Would be a pity... since this is the medium for SJW's to make complaints against religion, and others (lots & lots) that engage and have their lives shaped around tweets so to speak. It seems we may all be mental(ly) "in the same boat". #hashtag neuro-nonsense

T.G.G. Moogly

Formerly Joedad
Explains why so many true xtians are bigoted scum as well.
When you so quickly label a whole class of people as 'bigoted scum' I do wonder about your unconscious bigotry.

He didn't do that. He said "so many."

Talking to a person with an impaired or less developed prefontal cortex doesn't work because they are thinking with feelings, not thoughts, but are unaware. Perhaps this explains the Dunning Kruger effect.

Lion IRC

Veteran Member
"...they are thinking with feelings, not thoughts, but are unaware"

I must have Dunning Kruger syndrome because that sort of jargon is word salad to me.

Lion IRC

Veteran Member
Explains why so many true xtians are bigoted scum as well.
When you so quickly label a whole class of people as 'bigoted scum' I do wonder about your unconscious bigotry.

Yes, despite T.G.G. Moogly's attempt to defend phands, a brief scan of phands posts shows that he has a universal, undisguised hatred (phobia) in regards to Christians and Christianity.
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