Friday, August 08, 2008

Culture-sensitive neural substrates of human cognition.

Han and Northoff write a perspective piece in which they aim to show how the relatively novel approach of transcultural neuroimaging can bridge the gap between neuroscientific investigations of supposedly culture-invariant neural mechanisms and psychological evidence of culture-sensitive cognition. They collect and summarize a variety of neuroimaging data in summary figures. Below is the abstract, and PDF is here.
Our brains and minds are shaped by our experiences, which mainly occur in the context of the culture in which we develop and live. Although psychologists have provided abundant evidence for diversity of human cognition and behaviour across cultures, the question of whether the neural correlates of human cognition are also culture-dependent is often not considered by neuroscientists. However, recent transcultural neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that one's cultural background can influence the neural activity that underlies both high- and low-level cognitive functions. The findings provide a novel approach by which to distinguish culture-sensitive from culture-invariant neural mechanisms of human cognition.

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