A commonly used heart drug can make the user less racially biased by altering their subconscious racial attitudes, researchers at Oxford University found in a study.
Propranolol, the heart drug that acts on nerve circuits and the part of the brain that involves in fear & emotional responses, was found very helpful altering their subconscious racial attitudes.
The researchers said that racism is founded on fear and the drug damp down fear by blocking nerve circuits that control the heart rate and the brain-part linked with fear & emotional responses.
Two groups of 18 volunteers participated in the study. Each volunteer was asked to take a "racial Implicit Association Test" 1-2 hours after taking propranolol or the `dummy' placebo drug.
Those who had taken propranolol scored lower on the psychological test of "implicit" racist attitudes than others who were given the "dummy" placebo pills.
Professor Julian Savulescu, who co-authored the study, said, "The scientists wrote: "The main finding of our study is that propranolol significantly reduced implicit but not explicit racial bias."
But, Professor Savulescu clarified that propranolol is not a cure to treat racism as it can not reduce explicit racial bias.