Race and the Brain

We're hardwired to react suspiciously to other races. But we also have the tools to overcome it

The human brain is surely the most sophisticated data-processing machine in the world, except when it's not. In fact, in some ways our brains can be flat-out crude--like when they're dealing with matters of race.

Like all other animals, our species emerged in a world where there was critical value in distinguishing between members of your own tribe--who nurture you and protect you--and members of other tribes, who see you as a competitor for food and mates. Your very survival can turn on making this distinction quickly and reliably; as a result, the primal wiring that makes such discrimination possible is...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!