Cultural influences on neural processing of moral evaluation : A cross-cultural functional MRI study

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (no ISBN/ISSN)Not applicablepeer-review

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Author(s)

  • Yang Chen Lin
  • Robert Doole
  • Ko-Jou Carol Liu
  • Ho-Ling Anthony Liu
  • Chih-Mao Huang

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

Conference

Title11th Federation of European Neuroscience Societies Forum of Neuroscience (FENS 2018)
PlaceGermany
CityBerlin
Period7 - 11 July 2018

Abstract

Animal models and human studies have demonstrated that external experience sculpt behavioral and brain. Converging behavioral evidence indicates that there are variations in the way individual process information that appears to be a product of socio-cultural experiences. Specifically, individuals with interdependent socio-cultural value (most prominent in Eastern cultures) are more sensitive to the relations among people and social harmony, whereas individuals with independent representation emphasize personal agency and uniqueness(most prominent in Western cultures). In the present study, we employed a cross-cultural fMRI to investigate whether cultural values of independence and interdependence influence neural correlates of moral cognition that is critical for social interaction and prosocial behavior. Both Taiwanese and Western participants were presented a series of moral laden scenarios (either interpersonal harm or interpersonal assistance behavior), and made outcome (good/bad) or location (indoor/outdoor) judgments during scanning. Each participant’s degree of endorsement of interdependent values was assessed by their self-report on the Singelis Self-construal Scale (Singelis, 1994).Taiwanese rated higher SCS scores than Westerns in interdependent value (Taiwanese: 5.75; Westerners: -1.81; P<0.001). A whole-brain contrast when performing moral evaluation revealed that Taiwanese exhibited greater activation in inferior frontal gyrus, superior occipital gyrus and right posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS/TPJ), suggesting attentional control for evaluating moral action. In contrasts, Western participants showed greater activation in right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, probably involving autobiographic memory retrieval.These findings provide supportive neuroimaging evidence that the way individuals evaluate moral information that may stem from individual variations in cultural values of interdependence-independence.

Citation Format(s)

Cultural influences on neural processing of moral evaluation : A cross-cultural functional MRI study. / Lin, Yang Chen; Doole, Robert; Liu, Ko-Jou Carol; Liu, Ho-Ling Anthony; HUANG, Hsu-Wen; Huang, Chih-Mao.

2018. Paper presented at 11th Federation of European Neuroscience Societies Forum of Neuroscience (FENS 2018), Berlin, Germany.

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (no ISBN/ISSN)Not applicablepeer-review