Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Effect of culture on ...

... on neurobiological response:

They found that the American participants demonstrated higher mirror neuron activity while observing the American making gestures compared to the Nicaraguan. And when the Nicaraguan actor performed American gestures, the mirror neuron activation of the observers dropped.

"We believe these are some of the first data to show neurobiological responses to culture-specific stimuli," said Molnar-Szakacs. "Our data show that both ethnicity and culture interact to influence activity in the brain, specifically within the mirror neuron network involved in social communication and interaction."


  1. Blue said...

    Isn't this less of a cultural effect than a language one? That is, when we hear (or see) something communicated in a language we understand, parts of our brain light up because we try to place the language into context... but if we don't understand the language, then we soon give up on trying to make it into context, so that particular brain-light goes out.

    I wonder *how* the Nicaraguan actor performed the American gestures, though, and why they didn't register as recognizable to the American participants.

    And, for that matter, who the participants were and whether or not an internal bias caused them to interpret the Nicaraguan/American gestures as "foreign" even though they were theoretically perfectly understandable.

    Too many questions here.