An ad agency in New York has recently planned to pay homeless people $20 a day to act as travelling Wi-Fi Internet hot spots. The homeless people would wear t-shirts as part of the position, stating that they are a Wi-Fi hotspot. This pretty directly insinuates that these people were, to an extent at least, being dehumanized.
This would not surprise researchers Lasana Harris (now at Duke University) and Susan Fiske (at Princeton University) who tested how people perceive members of other groups at a basic neural level.
Basically, this area of the brain called the Medial Prefrontal Cortex (mPFC) activates when people do things that involve perceiving and relating to other people, such as recognizing and distinguishing between faces and empathizing. These researchers hypothesized, however, that like objects such as tables, images of certain groups of people—the homeless—would fail to activate the mPFC.
This is exactly what they found. Images of all other groups besides the homeless activated the mPFC. This suggests that the homeless are not recognized as human relative to other groups. They actually are perceived, at least in this area of the brain, more like objects, such as tables.