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Differential responses in the fusiform region to same-race and other-race faces.

Many studies have shown that people remember faces of their own race better than faces of other races. We investigated the neural substrates of same-race memory superiority using functional MRI (fMRI). European-American (EA) and African-American (AA) males underwent fMRI while they viewed photographs of AA males, EA males and objects under intentional encoding conditions. Recognition memory was superior for same-race versus other-race faces. Individually defined areas in the fusiform region that responded preferentially to faces had greater response to same-race versus other-race faces. Across both groups, memory differences between same-race and other-race faces correlated with activation in left fusiform cortex and right parahippocampal and hippocampal areas. These results suggest that differential activation in fusiform regions contributes to same-race memory superiority.

Pubmed ID: 11477432


  • Golby AJ
  • Gabrieli JD
  • Chiao JY
  • Eberhardt JL


Nature neuroscience

Publication Data

August 30, 2001

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: F32 NS010925
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: F32 NS010925-01
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: F32 NS010925-02
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: F32 NS10925-01
  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: MH59940

Mesh Terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Emotions
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Memory
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Race Relations
  • Reaction Time
  • Social Behavior
  • Temporal Lobe
  • Visual Pathways