September 2019
Volume 19, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2019
ERP responses to race and implicit bias in children and adults
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Eli Fennell
    Department of Psychology, Florida Atlantic University
  • Melissa Mildort
    Department of Psychology, Florida Atlantic University
  • Elizabeth Soethe
    Department of Psychology, Florida Atlantic University
  • Arushi Sachdeva
    Department of Psychology, Florida Atlantic University
  • Gizelle Anzures
    Department of Psychology, Florida Atlantic University
    Brain Institute, Florida Atlantic University
    Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences, Florida Atlantic University
Journal of Vision September 2019, Vol.19, 258. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/19.10.258
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      Eli Fennell, Melissa Mildort, Elizabeth Soethe, Arushi Sachdeva, Gizelle Anzures; ERP responses to race and implicit bias in children and adults. Journal of Vision 2019;19(10):258. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/19.10.258.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Prior research has demonstrated own-race recognition and implicit racial biases in adults and children (Baron & Banaji, 2006; Lee, Anzures, Quinn, Pascalis, & Slater, 2011). Some studies have found differences in event-related potentials (ERPs), whereas other studies have found similar ERPs, to own- and other-race faces in adults (Wiese, 2013). Event-related potentials to face race and their relation to implicit biases in children have yet to be investigated. We therefore examined ERPs to own- and other-race faces in a simple viewing task, and their relation to implicit racial biases in children and adults. Caucasian young adults and 5- to 10-year-olds viewed Caucasian and East Asian faces, and houses while their electroencephalographic waveforms were recorded. To ensure participants were attentive, they were instructed to press a button whenever they viewed infrequently-occurring images on a gray rather than a white background. Trials requiring button presses were excluded from analyses. Prior to the EEG task, participants completed a computerized child-friendly implicit association task measuring racial biases. Preliminary results indicated larger P100 and N170 and delayed P100 responses in children compared to adults (p values < .001). Neither children nor adults showed modulation of the N170 in response to race, but adults showed larger P100 responses to other- compared to own-race faces (p < .02). There were also trends towards greater implicit own-race biases associated with longer N170 latencies to other- compared to own-race faces in the left hemisphere in adults (p = .05), and larger N170 responses to own- compared to other-race faces in the right hemisphere in children and adults (p =.08). Overall, preliminary results suggest that race is more salient to adults than children in a task that did not require explicit attention to race. However, trends suggest that implicit racial biases are associated with ERPs in children and adults.

Acknowledgement: NICHD 
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