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Anorak | Can Propranolol cure racism?

Can Propranolol cure racism?

by | 8th, March 2012

CAN Propranolol, a beta blocker, prevents/ cure racism? In tests, those given the drug scored lower when tested for “implicit” racist prejudices and fears. The Telegraph  reports:

Scientists believe the discovery can be explained by the fact that racism is fundamentally founded on fear.

Propranolol acts both on nerve circuits that govern automatic functions such as heart rate, and the part of the brain involved in fear and emotional responses. The drug is also used to treat anxiety and panic.

Experimental psychologist Dr Sylvia Terbeck, from Oxford University, who led the study published in the journal Psychopharmacology, said: “Our results offer new evidence about the processes in the brain that shape implicit racial bias. Implicit racial bias can occur even in people with a sincere belief in equality. Given the key role that such implicit attitudes appear to play in discrimination against other ethnic groups, and the widespread use of propranolol for medical purposes, our findings are also of considerable ethical interest.”

Can you put it into the water?

Despite the study’s small size and limitations, the researchers believe it raises important ethical and philosophical questions.

Co-author Professor Julian Savulescu, from Oxford University’s Faculty of Philosophy, said: “Such research raises

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Posted: 8th, March 2012 | In: Technology Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink