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Brain, Behavior, and Culture: Insights from Cognition, Perception, and Emotion

By Nicholas O. Rule, Jonathan B. Freeman, Nalini Ambady, J. B. Freeman and N. Ambady


Abstract Recent developments in cultural neuroscience have provided insights showing that human brain function can vary along cultural lines. In the present article, we review the contributions of cultural psychology to the study and understanding of human cognitive neuroscience by focusing on three key areas of importance: cognition, perception, and emotion. We first review what is known about the influence of culture on the brain with regard to some basic cognitive processes: language, mathematics, memory, and perspective-taking/theory of mind. We then review cultural influences on the neuroscience of perception, focusing on the perception of objects, scenes, and social cues. Finally, we review the role of culture in the understanding of emotion recognition from a cognitive neuroscience perspective. Together, these three components of human behavior and brain function serve to illustrate how a unique understanding of cognitive neuroscience can be gained from the study of culture. Psychology as an empirical discipline emerged as recently as the late nineteenth century, perhaps marked by Wilhelm Wundt’s establishment of the first psychologica

Year: 2014
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