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Scans Show Culture Fundamentally Alters the Brain
It's no secret that culture influences your food preferences and taste in music.
But now scientists say it impacts the hard-wiring of your brain.
New research shows that people from different cultures use their brains differently to solve basic perceptual tasks.
Neuroscientists Trey Hedden and John Gabrieli of MIT's McGovern Institute for Brain Research asked Americans and East Asians to solve basic shape puzzles while in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner.
They found that both groups could successfully complete the tasks, but American brains had to work harder at relative judgments, while East Asian brains found absolute judgments more challenging.
Previous psychology research has shown that American culture focuses on the individual and values independence, while East Asian culture is more community-focused and emphasizes seeing people and objects in context.
This study provides the first neurological evidence that these cultural differences extend to brain activity patterns.Read the rest here.