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Culture-sensitive neural substrates of human cognition: a transcultural neuroimaging approach

Abstract

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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Figure 1: Cultural modulation of the neural activity of the attentional network.
Figure 2: Cultural influence on the neural substrates of self representation and self awareness.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project 30630025) (S.H.), the Salus Foundation (G.N.) and the Hope of Depression Research Foundation (G.N.).

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Han, S., Northoff, G. Culture-sensitive neural substrates of human cognition: a transcultural neuroimaging approach. Nat Rev Neurosci 9, 646–654 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn2456

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