A cultural neuroscience approach to the biosocial nature of the human brain

Shihui Han, Georg Northoff, Kai Vogeley, Bruce E. Wexler, Shinobu Kitayama, Michael E W Varnum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

240 Citations (Scopus)


Cultural neuroscience (CN) is an interdisciplinary field that investigates the relationship between culture (e.g., value and belief systems and practices shared by groups) and human brain functions. In this review we describe the origin, aims, and methods of CN as well as its conceptual framework and major findings. We also clarify several misunderstandings of CN research. Finally, we discuss the implications of CN findings for understanding human brain function in sociocultural contexts and novel questions that future CN research should address. By doing so, we hope to provide a clear picture of the CN approach to the human brain and culture and to elucidate the intrinsically biosocial nature of the functional organization of the human brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-359
Number of pages25
JournalAnnual Review of Psychology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • brain imaging
  • cultural neuroscience
  • culture
  • human brain
  • race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'A cultural neuroscience approach to the biosocial nature of the human brain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this