"Cultural Revolution" in Cognitive Science: From Neuroplasticity to Genetic Mechanisms of Acculturation



The review presents a new trend in cognitive studies of the last decade — "cultural neuroscience", a research area developing at the interface of experimental psychology, neuroscience, cultural anthropology and genetics. Theoretical approaches and empirical data obtained within two lines of research are discussed: on the one hand, the study of structural and functional plasticity of the human brain in the course of mastering vari¬ous cultural practices (literacy, professional skills, etc.), and on the other — investigations into the neural and genetic correlates of analytic vs. holistic styles of perception, attention, memory and categorization in so-called "individualistic" (Western) and "collectivist" (Eastern) cultures. Methodological problems arising from this research are outlined. The research and conclusions accumulated by cultural neuroscientists are compared with the basic assumptions of L.S. Vygotsky's cultural-historical psychology.

General Information

Keywords: cognitive science, cultural neuroscience, brain imaging, genetics, neuroplasticity, instruction, Eastern and Western styles of cognition

Journal rubric: Theory and Methodology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Falikman M.V., Cole M. "Cultural Revolution" in Cognitive Science: From Neuroplasticity to Genetic Mechanisms of Acculturation . Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2014. Vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 4–18. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Maria V. Falikman, Doctor of Psychology, Head, School of Psychology, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Research Fellow, Institute for Social Sciences, RANEPA, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1192-1433, e-mail: maria.falikman@gmail.com

Michael Cole, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Distinguished University Professor of Psychology, Communication, & Developmental Science, Emeritus, University of California, the head of the Laboratory of comparative human studies, San Diego, USA, e-mail: lchcmike@gmail.com



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