Claudia Pama (University of Cambridge) and Roberta Sellaro (Leiden University) have won the NVP popularization award 2014 in the category “VIDEO/BLOG” for their video “Reducing prejudice through brain stimulation”.
About their research:
More than fifty years have passed since the day Martin Luther King Jr. pronounced one of the most inspiring speeches of the Twentieth century. Nonetheless, today it is still quite hard to look at the outside world and think with confidence that the dream of the American clergyman will become more than a dream in the near future. In fact, everlasting ethnic, religious and cultural wars (just open any newspaper for examples), rash immigratory policies, everyday violence and implicit and explicit ghettoization demonstrate that social discrimination is still one of the leitmotifs of human history. We used a noninvasive brain stimulation technique, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), to modulate implicit bias toward social discrimination. We found that stimulating the prefrontal cortex, brain area related to social discrimination, we were able to reduce negative implicit attitudes toward members of an out-group. So, our results imply that, as dreamed by Martin Luther King, it will be possible to reduce prejudice.