Who Differentiates by Skin Color? Status Attributions and Skin Pigmentation in Chile.
ABSTRACT: A growing body of research has shown that phenotypes and skin pigmentation play a fundamental role in stratification dynamics in Latin American countries. However, the relevance of skin color on status attribution for different status groups has been little studied in the region. This article seeks to broaden the research on phenotypic status cues using Chile as a context for analysis - a Latin American country with a narrow although continuous spectrum of skin tones, marked status differences, and a mostly white elite. We draw on status construction theory to hypothesize that skin pigmentation in Chile has become a status cue, although its heuristic relevance could differ across status groups. Using visual stimuli and a repeated measure design, we studied this relationship and tested whether the use of skin pigmentation as a status cue is conditional upon the status of those categorizing others. The results reveal that participants attribute, on average, lower status to others of darker skin. Besides, skin pigmentation has a conditional effect on the social status of participants: whereas skin pigmentation does not work as a status cue for lower status participants, it is an important status marker for the categorizations that middle and especially higher status participants perform. The phenotypic composition of reference groups of low- and high-status individuals and system justification are discussed as potential explanations for these results.
Project description:We report a genome-wide association scan in >6,000 Latin Americans for pigmentation of skin and eyes. We found eighteen signals of association at twelve genomic regions. These include one novel locus for skin pigmentation (in 10q26) and three novel loci for eye pigmentation (in 1q32, 20q13 and 22q12). We demonstrate the presence of multiple independent signals of association in the 11q14 and 15q13 regions (comprising the GRM5/TYR and HERC2/OCA2 genes, respectively) and several epistatic interactions among independently associated alleles. Strongest association with skin pigmentation at 19p13 was observed for an Y182H missense variant (common only in East Asians and Native Americans) in MFSD12, a gene recently associated with skin pigmentation in Africans. We show that the frequency of the derived allele at Y182H is significantly correlated with lower solar radiation intensity in East Asia and infer that MFSD12 was under selection in East Asians, probably after their split from Europeans.
Project description:Mottled skin pigmentation and solar lentigines from chronic photodamage with aging involve complex interactions between keratinocytes and melanocytes. However, the precise signaling mechanisms that could serve as therapeutic targets are unclear. Herein, we report that expression of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2), which regulates reduction-oxidation reactions, is altered in solar lentigines and photodamaged skin. Moreover, mottled skin pigmentation in humans could be treated with topical application of the NRF2 inducer sulforaphane (SF). Similarly, UV light-induced pigmentation of WT mouse ear skin could be treated or prevented with SF treatment. Conversely, SF treatment was unable to reduce UV-induced ear skin pigmentation in mice deficient in NRF2 or in mice with keratinocyte-specific conditional deletion of IL-6R?. Taken together, NRF2 and IL-6R? signaling are involved in the pathogenesis of UV-induced skin pigmentation, and specific enhancement of NRF2 signaling could represent a potential therapeutic target.
Project description:Skin pigmentation is associated with skin damages and skin cancers, and ultraviolet (UV) photography is used as a minimally invasive mean for the assessment of pigmentation. Since UV photography equipment is not usually available in general practice, technologies emphasizing pigmentation in color photo images are desired for daily care. We propose a new method using conditional generative adversarial networks, named UV-photo Net, to generate synthetic UV images from color photo images. Evaluations using color and UV photo image pairs taken by a UV photography system demonstrated that pigment spots were well reproduced in synthetic UV images by UV-photo Net, and some of the reproduced pigment spots were difficult to be recognized in color photo images. In the pigment spot detection analysis, the rate of pigment spot areas in cheek regions for synthetic UV images was highly correlated with the rate for UV photo images (Pearson's correlation coefficient 0.92). We also demonstrated that UV-photo Net was effective for floating up pigment spots for photo images taken by a smartphone camera. UV-photo Net enables an easy assessment of pigmentation from color photo images and will promote self-care of skin damages and early signs of skin cancers for preventive medicine.
Project description:Latin America is one of the most ethnoracially heterogeneous regions of the world. Despite this, health disparities research in Latin America tends to focus on gender, class and regional health differences while downplaying ethnoracial differences. Few scholars have conducted studies of ethnoracial identification and health disparities in Latin America. Research that examines multiple measures of ethnoracial identification is rarer still. Official data on race/ethnicity in Latin America are based on self-identification which can differ from interviewer-ascribed or phenotypic classification based on skin color. We use data from Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru to examine associations of interviewer-ascribed skin color, interviewer-ascribed race/ethnicity, and self-reported race/ethnicity with self-rated health among Latin American adults (ages 18-65). We also examine associations of observer-ascribed skin color with three additional correlates of health - skin color discrimination, class discrimination, and socio-economic status. We find a significant gradient in self-rated health by skin color. Those with darker skin colors report poorer health. Darker skin color influences self-rated health primarily by increasing exposure to class discrimination and low socio-economic status.
Project description:Understanding the mental states of our social partners allows us to successfully interact with the world around us. Mental state attributions are argued to underpin social attention, and have been shown to modulate attentional orienting to social cues. However, recent research has disputed this claim, arguing that this effect may arise as an unintentional side effect of study design, rather than through the involvement of mentalising processes. This study therefore aimed to establish whether the mediation of gaze cueing by mental state attributions generalises beyond the specific experimental paradigm used in previous research. The current study used a gaze cueing paradigm within a change detection task, and the gaze cue was manipulated such that participants were aware that the cue-agent was only able to 'see' in one condition. The results revealed that participants were influenced by the mental state of the cue-agent, and were significantly better at identifying if a change had occurred on valid trials when they believed the cue-agent could 'see'. The computation of the cue-agent's mental state therefore mediated the gaze cueing effect, demonstrating that the modulation of gaze cueing by mental state attributions generalises to other experimental paradigms.
Project description:Skin ageing is said to be caused by multiple factors. The relationship with sun exposure is of particular interest because the detrimental cutaneous effects of the sun may be a strong motivator to sun protection. We report a study of skin ageing in participants of an epidemiological study of melanoma.To determine the predictors of periorbital cutaneous ageing and whether it could be used as an objective marker of sun exposure.Photographs of the periorbital skin in 1341 participants were graded for wrinkles, degree of vascularity and blotchy pigmentation and the resultant data assessed in relation to reported sun exposure, sunscreen use, body mass index (BMI), smoking and the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) gene status. Data were analysed using proportional odds regression.Wrinkling was associated with age and heavy smoking. Use of higher sun-protection factor sunscreen was protective (P = 0·01). Age, male sex, MC1R variants ('r', P=0·01; 'R', P=0·02), higher reported daily sun exposure (P=0·02), increased BMI (P=0·01) and smoking (P=0·02) were risk factors for hypervascularity. Blotchy pigmentation was associated with age, male sex, higher education and higher weekday sun exposure (P=0·03). More frequent sunscreen use (P=0·02) and MC1R variants ('r', P=0·03; 'R', P=0·001) were protective.Periorbital wrinkling is a poor biomarker of reported sun exposure. Vascularity is a better biomarker as is blotchy pigmentation, the latter in darker-skinned individuals. In summary, male sex, sun exposure, smoking, obesity and MC1R variants were associated with measures of cutaneous ageing. Sunscreen use showed some evidence of being protective.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:The Black population in the US is heterogeneous but is often treated as monolithic in research, with skin pigmentation being the primary indicator of racial classification. Objective: This paper examines the differences among Blacks by comparing genetic ancestry, skin color and social attainment of 259 residents across four US cities-Norman, Oklahoma; Cincinnati, Ohio; Harlem, New York; and Washington, District of Columbia. METHODS:Participants were recruited between 2004 and 2006 at community-based forums. Cross-sectional data were analyzed using chi-square tests, correlation analyses and logistic regression. RESULTS:There were variations in ancestry, melanin index and social attainment across some cities. Overall, men with darker skin color, and women with lighter skin color were significantly more likely to be married. Darker skin individuals with significantly more West African ancestry reported attainment of graduate degrees, and professional occupations than lighter skin individuals. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings suggest differences in skin pigmentation by geography and support regional variations in ancestry of US Blacks. Biomedical research should consider genetic ancestry and local historical/social context rather than relying solely on skin pigmentation as a proxy for race.
Project description:A current concern in genetic epidemiology studies in admixed populations is that population stratification can lead to spurious results. The Brazilian census classifies individuals according to self-reported "color", but several studies have demonstrated that stratifying according to "color" is not a useful strategy to control for population structure, due to the dissociation between self-reported "color" and genomic ancestry. We report the results of a study in a group of Brazilian siblings in which we measured skin pigmentation using a reflectometer, and estimated genomic ancestry using 21 Ancestry Informative Markers (AIMs). Self-reported "color", according to the Brazilian census, was also available for each participant. This made it possible to evaluate the relationship between self-reported "color" and skin pigmentation, self-reported "color" and genomic ancestry, and skin pigmentation and genomic ancestry. We observed that, although there were significant differences between the three "color" groups in genomic ancestry and skin pigmentation, there was considerable dispersion within each group and substantial overlap between groups. We also saw that there was no good agreement between the "color" categories reported by each member of the sibling pair: 30 out of 86 sibling pairs reported different "color", and in some cases, the sibling reporting the darker "color" category had lighter skin pigmentation. Socioeconomic status was significantly associated with self-reported "color" and genomic ancestry in this sample. This and other studies show that subjective classifications based on self-reported "color", such as the one that is used in the Brazilian census, are inadequate to describe the population structure present in recently admixed populations. Finally, we observed that one of the AIMs included in the panel (rs1426654), which is located in the known pigmentation gene SLC24A5, was strongly associated with skin pigmentation in this sample.
Project description:Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is a ubiquitous exposure which may contribute to decreased folate levels. Skin pigmentation mediates the biological effect of UVR exposure, but its relationship to folate levels is unexamined. Interactions may exist between UVR and pigmentation genes in determining folate status, which may, in turn, impact homocysteine levels, a potential risk factor for multiple chronic diseases. Therefore, independent and interactive influences of environmental UVR and genetic variants related to skin pigmentation (MC1R-rs1805007, IRF4-rs12203592 and HERC2-rs12913832) on folate (red blood cell (RBC) and serum) and homocysteine levels were examined in an elderly Australian cohort (n = 599). Genotypes were assessed by RT/RFLP-PCR, and UVR exposures were assessed as the accumulated erythemal dose rate accumulated over 4 months (4M-EDR). Multivariate analysis found significant negative associations between 4M-EDR and RBC folate (p < 0.001, ? = -0.19), serum folate (p = 0.045, ? = -0.08) and homocysteine levels (p < 0.001, ? = -0.28). Significant associations between MC1R-rs1805007 and serum folate levels (p = 0.020), and IRF4-rs12203592 and homocysteine levels (p = 0.026) occurred but did not remain significant following corrections with confounders. No interactions between 4M-EDR and pigmentation variants in predicting folate/homocysteine levels were found. UVR levels and skin pigmentation-related variants are potential determinants of folate and homocysteine status, although, associations are mixed and complex, with further studies warranted.
Project description:Approximately 15 genes have been directly associated with skin pigmentation variation in humans, leading to its characterization as a relatively simple trait. However, by assembling a global survey of quantitative skin pigmentation phenotypes, we demonstrate that pigmentation is more complex than previously assumed, with genetic architecture varying by latitude. We investigate polygenicity in the KhoeSan populations indigenous to southern Africa who have considerably lighter skin than equatorial Africans. We demonstrate that skin pigmentation is highly heritable, but known pigmentation loci explain only a small fraction of the variance. Rather, baseline skin pigmentation is a complex, polygenic trait in the KhoeSan. Despite this, we identify canonical and non-canonical skin pigmentation loci, including near SLC24A5, TYRP1, SMARCA2/VLDLR, and SNX13, using a genome-wide association approach complemented by targeted resequencing. By considering diverse, under-studied African populations, we show how the architecture of skin pigmentation can vary across humans subject to different local evolutionary pressures.