Toward an integrative science of social vision in intergroup bias

Arianna Bagnis, Alessia Celeghin, Cristina Onesta Mosso, Marco Tamietto*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Social neuroscience is unveiling how the brain coordinates the construal of social categories and the generation of intergroup biases from facial perception. Recent evidence indicates that social categorization is more sensitive and malleable to elemental facial features than previously assumed. At the same time, perception of social categories can be crafted by top-down factors, including prior knowledge, motivations, and social expectations. In this review, we summarize extant wisdom and propose a model that goes beyond traditional accounts that have conceived stereotypes and prejudices as the end result of “reading out” social categories in the face, and have assumed a hierarchical brain organization. Our model proposes recursive and dynamic interactions amid distant brain regions. Accordingly, the reciprocal exchange of sensory evidence and predictions biases and “explains away” visual input in face perception regions until a compromise is achieved and social perception stabilizes. Ideally, this effort would contribute to shape a research field at the interface between neural and social sciences, which is often referred to as social vision.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-326
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume102
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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Keywords

  • AMYGDALA ACTIVITY
  • Biased competition
  • Emotion
  • FACIAL AFFECT
  • Face perception
  • IN-GROUP
  • INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES
  • Intergroup bias
  • NEURAL MECHANISMS
  • PERCEPTUAL DECISION-MAKING
  • PREFRONTAL CORTEX
  • Predictive coding
  • Prejudices
  • RACE BIAS
  • RACIAL BIAS
  • SPATIAL-FREQUENCY
  • Social vision
  • Stereotypes

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