Culture and the brain were once thought of as mutually exclusive views on behavioral variation—an idea that is changing with the emerging field of cultural neuroscience. In this chapter, we discuss recent research examining the interplay of cultural and genetic factors on the neural bases of human perception. We conclude that cultural experience readily impacts basic mechanisms underlying perception, ranging from lower-level nonsocial domains (e.g., attentional deployment and object perception) to higher-order social domains (e.g., emotion recognition and theory of mind). More broadly, we discuss the promise and pitfalls of a cultural neuroscience approach to psychological processes and explain how this multilevel approach can contribute to both cognitive neuroscience as well as to social and cultural psychology.
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