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December 17, 2011

Failure of brain part promotes dehumanising-behavior!

Have you ever thought of what happens to the human brain when it becomes dysfunctional? What might happen to the behavior of such brain affected person? Does the person goes off from the normal state of mind? Well, such questions 've been almost sorted out by a recently conducted study.

A brain part tied to social interaction might prompt a person to commit horrific atrocities, especially if it becomes dysfunctional. This flaw also may help explain how propaganda depicting Tutsi ethnic group in Rwanda as cockroaches & Hitler's classification of Jews in Nazi Germany as vermin contributed to torture & genocide. 

The study lead Lasana Harris, a neuroscientist & assistant professor of psychology at Duke University said, "When we encounter a person, we usually infer something about their minds. Sometimes, we fail to do this, opening up the possibility that we do not perceive the person as fully human." 

According to the reports of the Journal of Psychology, social neuroscience has shown through MRI studies that people normally activate a network in the brain related to social cognition via thoughts, feelings & empathy. For instance  - when viewing pictures of others or thinking about their thoughts. 

According to a statement of Duke & Princeton universities, during the study, when participants were asked to consider images of people they considered drug addicts, homeless people & others they deemed low on the social ladder, parts of this network failed to engage. They said, the result is what the researchers call "dehumanised perception," or failing to consider someone else's mind. Such a lack of empathy toward others can also help explain why some members of the society are sometimes dehumanised. 

For this particular study, 119 undergraduates from Princeton completed judgement & decision-making surveys as they viewed images of people. The study co-author & professor of psychology at Princeton said, "We need to think about other people's experience. It's what makes them fully human to us. 

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