Research reveals dramatic differences in the ways that people from different cultures perceive the world around them. Individuals from Western cultures tend to focus on that which is object-based, categorically related, or self-relevant whereas people from Eastern cultures tend to focus more on contextual details, similarities, and group-relevant information. These different ways of perceiving the world suggest that culture operates as a lens that directs attention and filters the processing of the environment into memory. The present review describes the behavioral and neural studies exploring the contribution of culture to long-term memory and related processes. By reviewing the extant data on the role of various neural regions in memory and considering unifying frameworks such as a memory specificity approach, we identify some promising directions for future research.
Read also: Cultural Memory