Distinct processing of facial emotion of own-race versus other-race Academic Article uri icon


  • We investigated the neural basis underlying the effect of race on incidental facial emotional processing using functional MRI. Thirteen healthy Korean men underwent functional MRI while viewing photographs of Korean (own-race) and Caucasian (other-race) emotional faces while performing a sex discrimination task. Responses to other-race relative to own-race neutral faces replicated previous studies: activations were obtained in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex/medial frontal cortex. Direct contrasts between-race emotional faces (happy and sad) also showed differential effects: the contrast of own-race relative to other-race had more activations in limbic areas (amygdala and hippocampus), whereas the contrast of other-race relative to own-race had more activations in frontal, occipital, and parietal lobes. Our findings provide evidence for differential processing of emotional faces as a function of race.

author list (cited authors)

  • Lee, K., Khang, H. S., Kim, K., Kim, Y., Kweon, Y., Shin, Y., ... Liberzon, I.

citation count

  • 20

publication date

  • July 2008