Tell me to which groups you belong, and I tell you who you are. People do not only acquire an identity or reputation as an individual, but also as a member of the groups to which they belong. While recent neuroimaging research mainly explored the classic distinction between in- versus outgroups, or the stereotypes about various extant outgroups, the present proposal focuses on the perception and understanding of groups as such. A methodological obstacle in neuroimaging research on groups is that the search for neural substrates of groups and their stereotypes is obscured by related neural processes which are difficult to disambiguate. An activation in a brain area may be part of neural prerequisites or consequences, rather than the neural substrate of the process itself. To resolve this, the present proposal aims to identify the neural “codes” that represent social groups and their stereotypes. To do so, this project applies the methods of repetition suppression and multivoxel pattern analysis that are ideally suited to identify the neural substrates underlying psychological constructs. Our main hypothesis is that neural codes of groups and stereotypes are located in the medial prefrontal cortex of the brain. How groups are perceived and represented in the brain is essential for our understanding of the social processes involved in interactions within and between groups.
Effective start/end date1/01/1631/12/19

    Research areas

  • Social Groups

    Flemish discipline codes

  • Group and interpersonal processes

ID: 21182569