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July 27, 2015 / JayMan

Racist Brain

Some of you may have encountered a popular meme, shared by many celebrities and other people in the spotlight. Well in this post, I wanted to fix it just a bit:

racist brain fix

funny-skulls-skeletons-kissingWe’ve seen similar corrections to false PC memes, like the one at the left. But the above meme on the “racist brain” is clearly false, not the least reason being known group variation in average brain size (Beals, Smith, and Dodd 1984, image source here):





But we also now know that brain structure (such as its surface topography) differs considerably by race (Fan et al 2015):

brain structure ancestry
Indeed, brain structure delectably varies between ethnicities within a race, such as between different European groups (Bakken, Dale, and Schork, 2011). As Fan et al put it:

Here, we demonstrate that the three-dimensional geometry of cortical surface is highly predictive of individuals’ genetic ancestry in West Africa, Europe, East Asia, and America, even though their genetic background has been shaped by multiple waves of migratory and admixture events. The geometry of the cortical surface contains richer information about ancestry than the areal variability of the cortical surface, independent of total brain volumes. Besides explaining more ancestry variance than other brain imaging measurements, the 3D geometry of the cortical surface further characterizes distinct regional patterns in the folding and gyrification.

In our group’s previous study, we found that area measures of cortical surface and total brain volumes of individuals of European descent in the United States correlate significantly with their ancestral geographic locations in Europe

Go ahead and circulate this corrected meme whenever you encounter the original false one. 😉

Previously: 200 Blog Posts – Everything You Need to Know (To Start): Essential human categories: race and sex.


Leave a Comment
  1. Lion of the Judah-sphere / Jul 28 2015 7:22 AM

    Strange that brain size is so low in Japan according to that map…

    • JayMan / Jul 28 2015 7:32 AM

      The Japanese also have small bodies…

  2. rw95 / Aug 30 2016 10:49 PM

    While I know that brain size varies between (and within) races, with all the bullshit white nationalists and other racists spew, I’m not entirely sure the whole “racist=small brain” thing is totally inaccurate. I’ve rarely seen an intelligent comment from a white nationalist.

    • JayMan / Aug 30 2016 10:49 PM

      There is that…

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