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Williams Syndrome and the Amygdala

April 28, 2010

I do buy into some of Jared Diamonds thoughts that we tend towards favourably viewing people who resemble our parents to the extent of marrying parental clones.Another factor I believe is that an ashen faceless conceptualization of our unconscious -subconscious takes place ..in the form of ghosts and evil spirits  that live in dark shadows ( places where our ego-oriented vision loses its ability to divert our attention )..causes people to fear darker (seemingly ) less defined faces .

Heres a link on that same page shows how unfamiliarity of faces , lack of definition causes the another related  empathy problem.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2009/01/23/they-dont-all-look-the-same-could-better-facial-discrimination-lead-to-less-racial-discrimination/ 

Her idea is simple: if someone finds it hard to tell the difference between people of a certain race, they will be more likely to characterise that entire group with broad stereotypes. When the lines between individuals blur, generalities start seeping in and implicit biases have a stronger influence. But if that’s the case, there may be a way around it – indeed, Lebrecht found that by training people to better discriminate between faces of other races, she could help to reduce their biased attitudes towards those races.

Williams Syndrome :

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2010/04/12/williams-syndrome-children-show-no-racial-stereotypes-or-social-fear/

link between social fear and racial stereotypes fits with the results of previous brain-scanning studies. In people with Williams syndrome, the amygdala, a part of the brain involved in processing emotional memories, is far less reactive to threatening social situations. The connections between the amygdala and the fusiform face area, which is specialised for recognising faces, are also unusually weak.

The same areas might play a role in understanding information about people’s race: the fusiform face area tends to be more active when we look at people from the same ethnic group; and one study found that the amygdala is more active when both white and black people look at black faces. This will, of course, need to be tested in more experiments.

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