Neural Correlates of Group Bias During Natural Viewing

Cereb Cortex. 2019 Jul 22;29(8):3380-3389. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhy206.


Individuals from different social groups interpret the world in different ways. This study explores the neural basis of these group differences using a paradigm that simulates natural viewing conditions. Our aim was to determine if group differences could be found in sensory regions involved in the perception of the world or were evident in higher-level regions that are important for the interpretation of sensory information. We measured brain responses from 2 groups of football supporters, while they watched a video of matches between their teams. The time-course of response was then compared between individuals supporting the same (within-group) or the different (between-group) team. We found high intersubject correlations in low-level and high-level regions of the visual brain. However, these regions of the brain did not show any group differences. Regions that showed higher correlations for individuals from the same group were found in a network of frontal and subcortical brain regions. The interplay between these regions suggests a range of cognitive processes from motor control to social cognition and reward are important in the establishment of social groups. These results suggest that group differences are primarily reflected in regions involved in the evaluation and interpretation of the sensory input.

Keywords: ISC; fMRI; in-group; natural viewing; nucleus accumbens.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Frontal Lobe / diagnostic imaging
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology
  • Functional Neuroimaging
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Occipital Lobe / diagnostic imaging
  • Occipital Lobe / physiology
  • Soccer
  • Social Discrimination*
  • Social Identification*
  • Temporal Lobe / diagnostic imaging
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology
  • Visual Pathways / diagnostic imaging
  • Visual Pathways / physiology
  • Young Adult