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University of Delaware

Are humans hard-wired for racial prejudice?

Are humans hard-wired for racial prejudice?

Reaction to the acquittal of George Zimmerman was just the latest reminder: Race continues to divide us as a species. But why? Are human brains hard-wired to notice and react to racial differences? At first glance, that's precisely what research seems to demonstrate. Some of the most compelling evidence for a hard-wired racial divide concerns a brain region called the amygdala, which plays a central role in processing fear and aggression. If you were put in a brain scanner that identifies levels of activity in different regions and shown a picture of something scary, your amygdala would leap into action, telling your heart to race and your skin to get clammy. It would also help...

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