Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Recent electrophysiological research indicates that perceivers differentiate others on the basis of race extremely quickly. However, most categorization studies have been limited to White participants, neglecting potential differences in processing between racial groups. Moreover, the extent to which race interferes with categorization along other dimensions when race is made irrelevant to a perceiver's task is not known. A gender categorization task was used to test the extent to which race information would implicitly interfere with explicit gender categorization. As predicted, behavioral and electrocortical data indicated that participants attended to both the task-relevant gender dimension and the task-irrelevant race dimension. Additionally, processing of target race differed between Black and White participants. Ingroup attention biases in the N200 component of the event-related brain potential facilitated target categorization, suggesting a potential functional role for early differentiation of ingroup and outgroup targets.
Dickter, Cheryl L. and Bartholow, Bruce D., Racial Ingroup and Outgroup Attention Biases Revealed by Event-related Brain Potentials (2007). Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2(3), 189-198.