The own-race bias ( ORB) in facial recognition is characterised by increased accuracy in recognition of individuals from one's own racial group, relative to individuals from other racial groups. Here we report data from a split-brain patient indicating that the ORB may be tied to functions lateralised in the right cerebral hemisphere. Patient JW ( a Caucasian) performed a delayed match-to-sample task for faces that varied both the race of the facial memoranda-Caucasian or Japanese-and the cerebral hemisphere performing the task. While JW's left hemisphere showed no effect of race on facial recognition, his right hemisphere demonstrated a significant performance advantage for Caucasian faces. These findings are discussed in relation to stimulus familiarity and the development of perceptual expertise.
- Cognitive Science