28 Jan Any topic (writer’s choice)
Discussion MAIN POST
After reading the Chiao & Blizinsky (2013) article, what were your main takeaways? How would you describe the field of cultural neuroscience? Please find another scholarly source that addresses this topic and share what you found with the class.
RonS RESPOND TO THE MAIN POST
Manage Discussion Entry
Chiao and Blizinsky (2013) advance that cultural neuroscience examines how cultural values, practices, and beliefs influence and are influenced by neurobiological mechanisms. These neurobiological mechanisms include evolutionary, developmental, and situational timescales. Cultural neuroscientists consider theoretical and methodological elements from cultural psychology, neuroscience, and neurogenetics to explore the intersectionality between culture and genes in the manifestation of psychological and neural pathways.
An example is advanced by Ames and Fiske (2010) who advance that cultural neuroscience considers behavioral expression predicated on perceptual differences between various cultures. Ames and Fiske (2010) explain how Western populations tend to focus on specific objects, while Eastern populations give primacy to the context that the objects are situated in. When using a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine, neural differences can explain this distinction. The author finds this difference to be very interesting. Sue and Sue (2016) advance that Western societies tend to be individualistic, while Eastern societies tend to focus on the collective. This can explain, how Western societies focus on the object, namely an individualistic idea, and Eastern societies focus on the context, namely the collective idea.
Cultural neuroscience is interesting in these distinctions as Chiao and Blizinsky (2013) express that a seminal goal of neuroscience is to elucidate human behavior by describing cultural, environmental, and biological conditions that contribute to its varied outcomes. A vital take away is that cultural values, practices, and beliefs effect neural pathways. What is even more interesting is that these contributions to neural pathways are specific to psychological well being (Chiao and Blizinsky (2013). Chiao and Blizinsky (2013) advance several studies that show the effect of culture on the limbic neural circuitry, as for example, the amygdala. People in the United States and Japan had a higher amygdala response of fear from facial expressions within their own culture as opposed to those from outside cultures. This indicates that neural circuitry is design to be more sensitive to fear from within ones cultural group.
Another interesting takeaway is the cultural values of hierarchy preference. An example is advanced by Cheon et al. (as cited in Chiao and Blizinsky, 2013) who demonstrated that Koreans showed a great neural response in the left-parietal junction when seeing people from their own culture in pain as opposed to seeing someone from another culture, such as a White American.
A final takeaway for the author is the origins of these differences, which Chiao and Blizinsky (2013) elucidate can be explained by the evolutionary and adaptive functioning of the human species regarding specific regions where they originate from. Genetic selection may be a contributor to why different cultures have different biological and neural expression.
Ames, D. L., & Fiske, S. T. (2010). Cultural neuroscience. Asian journal of social psychology, 13(2), 72-82.
Chiao, J. Y., & Blizinsky, K. D. (2013). Population disparities in mental health: Insights from cultural neuroscience. American journal of public health, 103(S1), S122-S132.
Sue, D.W. & Sue, D. (2016). Counseling the culturally diverse: Theory and practice. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.