Cultural Priming Effects and the Human Brain

Shihui Han, Georg Northoff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)


Culture as shared values/beliefs and behavioral scripts not only influences human behavior and cognition but modulates the underlying brain activity as well. Cultural impacts on the human brain have been investigated by cultural neuroscience research that examines cultural group differences in brain activities involved in specific cognitive/affective processes. The findings, however, do not allow inference of causal relationships between specific cultural values/beliefs and brain activity. Cultural priming approach tests how brain activities underlying various cognitive/affective processes are modulated by recent exposure to specific cultural symbols or activation of specific cultural values/beliefs. Increasing evidence indicates that cultural priming leads to subsequent changes of brain activities in response to perception, attention, reward, self-reflection, etc. The findings suggest that culture provides a key frame in which the human brain develops and functions to mediate multiple cognitive and affective processes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCulture, Mind, and Brain
Subtitle of host publicationEmerging Concepts, Models, and Applications
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781108695374
ISBN (Print)9781108484145
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2020


  • affect
  • cognition
  • cultural neuroscience
  • ERP
  • fMRI
  • priming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Neuroscience


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