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Publication Detail
A mechanistic account of bodily resonance and implicit bias
Abstract
© 2018 The Authors Implicit social biases play a critical role in shaping our attitudes towards other people. Such biases are thought to arise, in part, from a comparison between features of one's own self-image and those of another agent, a process known as ‘bodily resonance’. Recent data have demonstrated that implicit bias can be remarkably plastic, being modulated by brief immersive virtual reality experiences that place participants in a virtual body with features of an out-group member. Here, we provide a mechanistic account of bodily resonance and implicit bias in terms of a putative self-image network that encodes associations between different features of an agent. When subsequently perceiving another agent, the output of this self-image network is proportional to the overlap between their respective features, providing an index of bodily resonance. By combining the self-image network with a drift diffusion model of decision making, we simulate performance on the implicit association test (IAT) and show that the model captures the ubiquitous implicit bias towards in-group members. We subsequently demonstrate that this implicit bias can be modulated by a simulated illusory body ownership experience, consistent with empirical data; and that the magnitude and plasticity of implicit bias correlates with self-esteem. Hence, we provide a simple mechanistic account of bodily resonance and implicit bias which could contribute to the development of interventions for reducing the negative evaluation of social out-groups.
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Clinical & Experimental Epilepsy
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Clinical & Experimental Epilepsy
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Dept of Computer Science
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