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Gerais : Revista Interinstitucional de Psicologia

On-line version ISSN 1983-8220


HAASE, Vitor Geraldi; PINHEIRO-CHAGAS, Pedro  and  ARANTES, Érica Alves. The nature and the nurture of xenophobia: a social cognitive neuroscience perspective. Gerais, Rev. Interinst. Psicol. [online]. 2009, vol.2, n.2, pp. 53-66. ISSN 1983-8220.

The aim of this review is to integrate evidence from multiple methodologies of neuroscience research to examine the nature and creation of xenophobia. We argue that xenophobia is a class of stereotyped attitude, whose nature is associated with the circuitry of the limbic system, especially the amygdala, which can be conceived as an emotionalattentional filter that reacts protectively to novel and ambiguous stimuli. Considering the existence of neurocognitive mechanisms involved in xenophobia, we will support the hypothesis that xenophobic attitudes could be socially learned. Finally, a brief discussion on the epigenesis of human behavior will be presented.

Keywords : Evolutionary Psychology; Xenophobia; Human Development.

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