ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (1): 37-47.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2013.00037

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Cross-cultural Research on Attention and Its Implications

LIU Shuqing;WANG Hailing;PENG Kaiping;ZHENG Xianjun;LIU Zaijia;XU Shengmei   

  1. (1 Department of Psychology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China) (2 Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA)
  • Received:2012-03-07 Online:2013-01-15 Published:2013-01-15
  • Contact: PENG Kaiping

Abstract: Nisbett proposed that cultural difference on attention may be instrumental in shaping cultural differences on other aspects of human cognition. However, not until recently did this theory receive ample empirical supports, especially from neural mechanism perspective. The present article reviews the state-of-the-art research of the cultural influence on human attention and its implications for other cognitive processes. It first introduces the behavioral studies on culture and attention, discussing the results of cultural differences in holistic vs. analytic processing, field dependent vs. field independent processing, change blindness and other attention-related cognitive tasks. Furthermore, it elaborates the research in studying the underlying mechanisms of culture and attention, highlighting related research findings from developmental research, ERP and fMRI studies. It ends with discussion for future research directions and the implications for real world applications.

Key words: attention, culture, holistic vs, analytic processing, ERP, fMRI