Addressing Racial and Phenotypic Bias in Human Neuroscience Methods

August 15, 2022 -
3:30pm to 5:00pm

Jasmine Kwasa, PhD; Post-doctoral Fellow in the Neuroscience Institute; Carnegie Mellon University

Abstract: Despite their premise of objectivity, neuroscience tools for physiological data collection, such as electroencephalography and functional near-infrared spectroscopy, introduce racial bias into studies by excluding individuals on the basis of phenotypic differences in hair type and skin pigmentation. Furthermore, at least one methodology—electrodermal activity recording (skin conductance responses)—may be influenced not only by potential phenotypic differences, but also by negative psychological effects stemming from the lived experience of racism. This discussion will situate these issues within structural injustice, urge researchers to challenge racism in their scientific work, and propose changes and procedures that may lead to more equitable science.

Hosted by the Neuroethics Discussion Group of the Pitt and CMU Rehabilitation and Neural Engineering Laboratory with support from the Research, Ethics and Society Initiative

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