Cardiac afferent activity modulates the expression of racial stereotypes

Azevedo, Ruben T, Garfinkel, Sarah N, Critchley, Hugo D and Tsakiris, Manos (2017) Cardiac afferent activity modulates the expression of racial stereotypes. Nature Communications, 8. a13854. ISSN 2041-1723

[img] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (919kB)

Abstract

Negative racial stereotypes tend to associate Black people with threat. This often leads to the misidentification of harmless objects as weapons held by a Black individual. Yet, little is known about how bodily states impact the expression of racial stereotyping. By tapping into the phasic activation of arterial baroreceptors, known to be associated with changes in the neural processing of fearful stimuli, we show activation of race-threat stereotypes synchronized with the cardiovascular cycle. Across two established tasks, stimuli depicting Black or White individuals were presented to coincide with either the cardiac systole or diastole. Results show increased race-driven misidentification of weapons during systole, when baroreceptor afferent firing is maximal, relative to diastole. Importantly, a third study examining the positive Black-athletic stereotypical association fails to demonstrate similar modulations by cardiac cycle. We identify a body–brain interaction wherein interoceptive cues can modulate threat appraisal and racially biased behaviour in context-dependent ways.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Neuroscience
Research Centres and Groups: Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science
Depositing User: Catrina Hey
Date Deposited: 24 May 2017 11:36
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2017 17:03
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/68218

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update
Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Cardiac control of fear in brainG1120EUROPEAN UNION324150 CCFIB