Source: royyimzy/Adobe Stock Culture has been called "an amalgam of values, meanings, conventions and artifacts that constitute daily social realities" (Kitayama & Park, 2010). As a system of meaning and shared beliefs, culture provides a framework for our behavioral and affective norms. Countless studies in cultural psychology have examined the effect of culture on all aspects of our behavior, cognition , and emotion, delineating both differences and similarities across populations. More recently, findings in cultural neuroscience have outlined possible ways that the cultural scripts we learn during childhood and the cultural practices we observe as adults influence our brains. First, what is cultural neuroscience? As an interdisciplinary field of research, cultural neuroscience investigates the relationship between culture and the brain, particularly, the ways in which culture "both constructs and is constructed by the mind and its underlying brain pathways" (Kitayama & Park, 2010). Exactly how might culture wire our brains? According to findings from cultural neuroscience, the mechanism has to do with the brain's plasticity, or the brain's ability to adapt to long-lasting engagement in scripted behaviors (i.e. cultural tasks ). The capacity of our brains to undergo structural changes from recurrent daily tasks has been well documented (e. g ., larger hippocampi… Read full this story
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