Bias and the Developing Brain
Jan 19, 2022
The human brain is hardwired to recognize patterns—that’s how we figure out the world, and why humans have been able to adapt and survive over millennia. But the brain’s ability to quickly form cognitive associations can also lead to racial biases, even in very young children. On the season two finale of Early Risers, host Dianne Haulcy speaks with University of Minnesota cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Damien Fair about how we can train our brains to recognize bias and why the first thousand days of a child’s life are so critical for brain development.
Dr. Damien Fair studies the developing brain as a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Minnesota: He is a professor at the Institute of Child Development, a professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School and the Redleaf Endowed Director at the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain at the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Fair was recognized as a MacArthur Fellow – also known as a ‘genius grant’ recipient in 2020. The MacArthur Foundation produced this video about Fair and his work.
MPR News reported on Dr. Fair and the launch of the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain at the University of Minnesota in 2021.
In 2017, Fair gave a TEDx talk about his brain research, titled “Does the brain rest? New advances in studies of brain development.”
Fair discusses the Harvard Implicit Association Test during this episode, which includes a variety of free online assessments where you can gain insight about your own implicit biases.