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W. S. Lee, 2008). Moreover, in an fMRI study involving native Japanese and Americans, Chiao et al. (2009) reported that neural activity within the ventral medial frontal regions predicted how individualistic or collectivistic a 34 Neuroimaging – Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience person is across cultures, regardless of the participants’ cultural affiliation. These findings suggest that although some aspects of cultural groups remain stable across time, neural representations of self in Americans and East Asians are not inherently different, but instead reflect different cultural values that are endorsed by the individual.

This potentially results in an underestimation of cultural differences in behavioral performance and neural activation. g. international students) who have been qualified to study or work overseas according to their conspicuous achievement, leading to a more high-performing, homogenous sample compared to native individuals. In such cases, conclusions of cultural variation may in fact be associated with sample differences in cognitive capabilities. To reduce these sampling biases described above, it is necessary to select samples based on equivalent levels of education, similar demographics and matched cognitive abilities between groups (Park & Huang, 2010).

Using the change blindness paradigm as well, Masuda & Nisbett (2006) presented Americans and Japanese with rapidly alternating pictures of scenes with objects. They found that whereas Americans were faster at detecting changes occurring in the central object, they were slower with background changes. Images of the Cognitive Brain Across Age and Culture 27 In contrast, Japanese were equally fast for changes occurring in both objects and backgrounds. Moreover, Americans detected more object changes whereas Japanese detected more background changes.

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