Culture Embrained: Going Beyond the Nature-Nurture Dichotomy.
Over the past three decades, the cultural psychology literature has established that there is systematic cultural variation in the nature of agency in the domains of cognition, emotion, and motivation. This literature adopted both self-report and performance-based (or behavioral) indicators of these processes, which set the stage for a more recent systematic exploration of cultural influences at the neural and biological level. Moreover, previous work has largely focused on East-West differences, thereby calling for a systematic exploration of other ethnic groups. To address these issues, this article reviews recent work in cultural neuroscience, while paying close attention to Latino Americans-the single most rapidly growing minority group in the United States. We focus on research that has employed neural measures and show that culture has systematic influences on the brain. We also point out that, unlike more traditional self-report or performance-based measures, neural indicators of culture are reliably linked to theoretically relevant individual difference variables such as self-construal and acculturation. Cultural neuroscience offers the framework to go beyond the dichotomy between nature and nurture and to explore how they may dynamically interact.
Kitayama, S; Salvador, CE
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