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Thread: Blacks, Whites Have Same Fear Reaction When Seeing a Black Face

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    Sonja
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    Blacks, Whites Have Same Fear Reaction When Seeing a Black Face

    African Americans and Caucasians viewing African American faces display extremely similar changes in the activity of brain structures that respond to emotional events, a new UCLA study finds.

    The changes occur in the amygdala, a region of the brain that serves as an "alarm" to activate a cascade of other biological systems to protect the body in times of danger, said Matthew D. Lieberman, assistant professor of psychology at UCLA and lead author of the study.

    The findings will be published May 8 in the online version of Nature Neuroscience, and later in the print version.

    Five out of eight African Americans (63 percent) responded with significantly more amygdala activity when presented with expressionless photographs of African Americans than when they were shown expressionless photographs of Caucasians, Lieberman and his colleagues found. Seven of 11 Caucasians (64 percent) in the study also responded with greater activity in the amygdala when viewing the African American photographs.

    Although a third of participants in each race did not show this effect, no participant in the study responded with greater amygdala activity to the Caucasian photographs than to the African American photographs, Lieberman said.

    "We didn't see any differences in amygdala activity between the racial groups," Lieberman said. "From looking at the amygdala, you couldn't tell if the scans were from African American or Caucasian participants.

    "Many people of either race may not be happy to find out that a part of their brain involved in responding to potential threats responds more to African Americans than Caucasians," Lieberman said. "Even people who believe to their core that they do not have prejudices may still have negative associations that are not conscious."

    Why do African Americans have this amygdala response?

    "One theory," Lieberman said, "is that people are likely to pick up the stereotypes prevalent in a society regardless of whether their family or community agrees with those stereotypes. Several social psychologists have found evidence for this view. From an early age, cultural views, media portrayals and even the body language of authority figures may train our brains, whether we consciously agree or not."

    Previous research has shown that Caucasians show an increased amygdala response to African American photos to the extent that they hold nonconscious negative attitudes towards African Americans, Lieberman said.

    Co-authors on the study are Johanna Jarcho, a UCLA graduate student in Lieberman's laboratory; UCLA graduate student Naomi Eisenberger; Susan Bookheimer, professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine; and Ahmad Hariri, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a former UCLA graduate student.

    The researchers also studied whether adding a verbal label (such as "African American") when viewing African American photos changes the amygdala response, and found it does.

    "When people look at an African American and think of the word 'African American,' we no longer see the amygdala response," Lieberman said. Instead, the researchers found changes in a second region of the brain: the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. This region of the brain is located behind the forehead and eyes, and has been associated with thinking in words about emotional experiences; it also is associated with inhibiting behavior, impulses and emotions.

    "This region is especially active when you add the verbal label to the face," Lieberman said. "The people who show the most activity in the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex show the least activity in the amygdala.

    "We found that when the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex gets turned on, the amygdala does not," he added. "When you engage in verbal labeling, that partially turns off or disrupts the amygdala response. The right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex was significantly active only when people were looking at African Americans and choosing the word 'African American.'"

    These results suggest that "thinking about the race of others in words may regulate some of the threat experienced when confronting unfamiliar or feared others," Lieberman said. "It is possible this emotional 'benefit' of using race-related words may have inadvertently contributed to the widespread use of race-related words and stereotypes."

    Lieberman and his colleagues used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine brain activity for this study, conducted at UCLA's Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center.

    The research was supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health.

    From UCLA

    http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/node/7830

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    I agree with this study. Whenever I come face to face with a black person I immediately go into a "high alert" mode. Its a primal reaction, kind of a defense mechanism if you will. Of course, this is really no surprise. They are not exactlhy what one would call a kind and gentle race of people. :

    This is why that in general, I simply try and avoid them. I have a real negative aversion to them.

  3. #3
    Sonja
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    Quote Originally Posted by superstatt
    I agree with this study. Whenever I come face to face with a black person I immediately go into a "high alert" mode. Its a primal reaction, kind of a defense mechanism if you will. Of course, this is really no surprise. They are not exactlhy what one would call a kind and gentle race of people. :

    This is why that in general, I simply try and avoid them. I have a real negative aversion to them.
    Yeah, I know the feeling. I was raised in a white community throughout my childhood, and so my early visits to places like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Houston were extremely unnerving. I still feel alarmed when I see blacks; I am just not used to their presence at all (and would not want to be). Besides, even though I now see them around more than I did when I was sheltered in that small community, all of my encounters with them have been negative. There is cause for nervousness, I'd say. I hate to sound like a mindless bigot, but that is the truth of it - empirical knowledge speaks.

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    when and where i grew up,
    the negroes were always courteous and helpful
    to the point of solicitude.

    consequently, i have good expectations of them
    and have no anxiety of them.

    i think they sense fear in others
    and it provokes them to bad behavior
    (what happens if you run from a cougar?).

    after several decades of observing negroes mis-behave,
    i am still surprised (not frightened) when it happens.

    even violent negroes that i have encountered
    seem nonplussed at my "inappropriate" response
    to their animalistic posturing.

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    If unease and mistrust are the first reactions among both races (namely whites) then I wonder what the relationship to race mixing is?
    Friend of Truth, Investigating Truth, Pursuit of Truth, Proof of Truth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonja
    Yeah, I know the feeling. I was raised in a white community throughout my childhood, and so my early visits to places like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Houston were extremely unnerving. I still feel alarmed when I see blacks; I am just not used to their presence at all (and would not want to be). Besides, even though I now see them around more than I did when I was sheltered in that small community, all of my encounters with them have been negative. There is cause for nervousness, I'd say. I hate to sound like a mindless bigot, but that is the truth of it - empirical knowledge speaks.
    Yes, empirical knowledge does speak. Ultimately its the reality of your experience that matters, despite all of the liberal egalitarian "feel good " ideas that encourage us to "lets all just get along". The reality is that there will always be a disconnect when relating to blacks.

    When discusing his experiences with blacks, CG Jung talked about their inherent primitive psyche. This accounts for a lot of the black rage being acted out in US society and I believe they harbor a lot of hostility that is latent, and lies just beneath the surface of their subconscious. You never quite know if one of them decides to go ballistic on you for some unknown reason, much like that nutjob who went crazy in an Atlanta courtroom a while back.

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    "CG Jung talked about their inherent primitive psyche. This accounts for a lot of the black rage being acted out in US society and I believe they harbor a lot of hostility that is latent, and lies just beneath the surface of their subconscious. You never quite know if one of them decides to go ballistic on you for some unknown reason..."

    in my experience,
    most bad behavior by negroes is testosterone-driven.
    which would be difficult to self-control,
    but heavy field-work and a low fat-intake
    (to reduce the building-material of such hormones)
    does serve as an effective external-control.

    if allowed self-feeding to satiation,
    teen-aged female negroes have higher testosterone-levels
    than normal adult white males.

    violent male-negro felons
    (which fill u.s. juvenile halls, jails and prisons)
    typically have thrice the testosterone-levels
    of normal adult white males.

    this strong hormonal-dynamic applied to their brain structure
    does seem to substantiate the words of doctor jung.

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    Blacks, Whites Have Same Fear Reaction When Seeing a Black Face

    From scienceblog.com:

    African Americans and Caucasians viewing African American faces display extremely similar changes in the activity of brain structures that respond to emotional events, a new UCLA study finds.

    The changes occur in the amygdala, a region of the brain that serves as an "alarm" to activate a cascade of other biological systems to protect the body in times of danger, said Matthew D. Lieberman, assistant professor of psychology at UCLA and lead author of the study.

    Five out of eight African Americans (63 percent) responded with significantly more amygdala activity when presented with expressionless photographs of African Americans than when they were shown expressionless photographs of Caucasians, Lieberman and his colleagues found. Seven of 11 Caucasians (64 percent) in the study also responded with greater activity in the amygdala when viewing the African American photographs.

    Although a third of participants in each race did not show this effect, no participant in the study responded with greater amygdala activity to the Caucasian photographs than to the African American photographs, Lieberman said.

    "We didn't see any differences in amygdala activity between the racial groups," Lieberman said. "From looking at the amygdala, you couldn't tell if the scans were from African American or Caucasian participants.

    "Many people of either race may not be happy to find out that a part of their brain involved in responding to potential threats responds more to African Americans than Caucasians," Lieberman said. "Even people who believe to their core that they do not have prejudices may still have negative associations that are not conscious."

    Why do African Americans have this amygdala response?

    "One theory," Lieberman said, "is that people are likely to pick up the stereotypes prevalent in a society regardless of whether their family or community agrees with those stereotypes. Several social psychologists have found evidence for this view. From an early age, cultural views, media portrayals and even the body language of authority figures may train our brains, whether we consciously agree or not."

    Previous research has shown that Caucasians show an increased amygdala response to African American photos to the extent that they hold nonconscious negative attitudes towards African Americans, Lieberman said.

    Co-authors on the study are Johanna Jarcho, a UCLA graduate student in Lieberman's laboratory; UCLA graduate student Naomi Eisenberger; Susan Bookheimer, professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine; and Ahmad Hariri, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a former UCLA graduate student.

    The researchers also studied whether adding a verbal label (such as "African American") when viewing African American photos changes the amygdala response, and found it does.

    "When people look at an African American and think of the word 'African American,' we no longer see the amygdala response," Lieberman said. Instead, the researchers found changes in a second region of the brain: the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. This region of the brain is located behind the forehead and eyes, and has been associated with thinking in words about emotional experiences; it also is associated with inhibiting behavior, impulses and emotions.

    "This region is especially active when you add the verbal label to the face," Lieberman said. "The people who show the most activity in the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex show the least activity in the amygdala.

    "We found that when the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex gets turned on, the amygdala does not," he added. "When you engage in verbal labeling, that partially turns off or disrupts the amygdala response. The right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex was significantly active only when people were looking at African Americans and choosing the word 'African American.'"

    These results suggest that "thinking about the race of others in words may regulate some of the threat experienced when confronting unfamiliar or feared others," Lieberman said. "It is possible this emotional 'benefit' of using race-related words may have inadvertently contributed to the widespread use of race-related words and stereotypes."

    Science Blog is definitely not a "racist" site but the majority of comments left by its readers are pretty amazing. They indicate to me that their thoughts on blacks accurately represent what most Whites truly feel and are too PC to admit :


    If a person gets bit by a dog, that person may become apprehensive towards dogs. If a person is a survivor of a plane crash, that person will probably never get on a plane again.

    People respond to black male faces with fear because we're evolutionarily designed to recognize danger the same way mice know to run when they see a cat. Will ALL cats eat mice? Probably not. But a lot of cats will. ANd so while ALL black males aren't criminals, most ppl respond with fear because statistically, black males commit more crimes.

    Anyone who says otherwise is lying to themselves or simply lying to others. When asked, I'd say blacks are just people. But when PRESSED, even I'd admit that when I see a group of black people, I get somewhat nervous.
    here's some stats:
    Race, Crime and Justice in America
    The Color
    of
    Crime
    New Century Foundation
    Oakton, VA 22124

    Second, Expanded Edition
    Major Findings
    • Police and the justice system are not biased against minorities.
    Crime Rates
    • Blacks are seven times more likely than people of other races to commit murder,
    and eight times more likely to commit robbery.
    • When blacks commit crimes of violence, they are nearly three times more likely
    than non-blacks to use a gun, and more than twice as likely to use a knife.
    • Hispanics commit violent crimes at roughly three times the white rate, and
    Asians commit violent crimes at about one quarter the white rate.
    • The single best indicator of violent crime levels in an area is the percentage of
    the population that is black and Hispanic.
    Interracial Crime
    • Of the nearly 770,000 violent interracial crimes committed every year involving
    blacks and whites, blacks commit 85 percent and whites commit 15 percent.
    • Blacks commit more violent crime against whites than against blacks. Fortyfive
    percent of their victims are white, 43 percent are black, and 10 percent are
    Hispanic. When whites commit violent crime, only three percent of their victims are
    black.
    • Blacks are an estimated 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against
    a white than vice versa, and 136 times more likely to commit robbery.
    • Blacks are 2.25 times more likely to commit officially-designated hate crimes
    against whites than vice versa.
    Gangs
    • Only 10 percent of youth gang members are white.
    • Hispanics are 19 times more likely than whites to be members of youth gangs.
    Blacks are 15 times more likely, and Asians are nine times more likely.
    Incarceration
    • Between 1980 and 2003 the US incarceration rate more than tripled, from 139
    to 482 per 100,000, and the number of prisoners increased from 320,000 to 1.39
    million.
    • Blacks are seven times more likely to be in prison than whites. Hispanics are
    three times more likely.
    The process of considering blacks as just another person can be hastened when they stop demanding "affirmative action" which suggests they may not be up to the challenges of life. 7 black men for every white man is incarcerated in this country. The difference in fear response is not bigotry, it's a natural response to a proven threat.
    Okay, just open your eyes to things happening around us... black males are pretty damn dangerous (on an average basis) compared to males from other racial groups.

    The lack of education, career opportunities and unethical upbringings are all root causes for this wide spread phenomonon. If you want statistics, don't waste other people's time, just google it yourself. For starters, i can help you with a few simple keywords such as "Black crime statistics". You'll be amazed (but definitely not I or the rest of the world) about what you'll find there.

    Look, stop wasting time trying to ridiculing facts, spend more time to learn proper life skills and meaningful ways to improve your living standards. Robbing, killing, and intimidating are not life skills, they are cavemen acts. Once the Africans learn how to behave like proper human beings, maybe then will the rest of the world view them as equals.

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    This is actually extremely hilarious that black people are afraid of other black people just as much as whites are. But, it should really come to no surprise as in Africa they have historically been enslaving and killing each other for centuries.

    I mean, does anything more really need to be said? I do think that another study comparing reactions of black AFRICANS from, I don't know, the Congo or something to black faces to that of black americans and white americans, and maybe white europeans (just to throw that in there too), would be very interesting, and would probably dispel the notion that they are only afraid of each other because white people culturally programmed them to be that way.

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