Distinct processing of facial emotion of own-race versus other-race

Kyoung Uk Lee, Hyun Soo Khang, Ki Tae Kim, Young Joo Kim, Yong Sil Kweon, Yong Wook Shin, Jun Soo Kwon, Shao Hsuan Ho, Sarah N. Garfinkel, Jeong Ho Chae, Israel Liberzon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1021-1025
Number of pages5
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jul 2 2008


  • Emotionprocessing
  • Functional MRI
  • Neuralbasis
  • Race differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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