Unique Neural Correlates of Implicit and Explicit Bias

Volpert, Hannah
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University of Delaware
The goal of the present work was to investigate whether explicit and implicit racial biases would differentially moderate electroencephalogical (EEG) activity associated with cognitively controlled semantic processing or implicit, evaluative processing. Participants’ EEG was recorded while they completed a face-trait pairing task, where positive or negative, stereotypically Black (African-American) or White (Caucasian-American) traits followed the presentation of either a Black or White face acting as a prime. ERP components examined included the N100, a component related to selective attention processes, the P200, a component related to the detection of negative, threatening stimuli that has previously been linked with implicit racial bias, and the N400, a component related to the detection of semantic incongruity, recently utilized to examine stereotype-endorsement. Results indicated that evaluative implicit bias moderated P200 activity (28% of the variance) whereas self-reported explicit bias robustly moderated N400 activity (42% of the variance). Results are interpreted in the context of affective versus consciously controlled associations involved in implicit and explicit bias.
explicit racial biases , implicit racial biases , electroencephalogical activity , EEG activity , neural correlates