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Cultural and Linguistic Influence on Developmental Neural Basis of Theory of Mind and Self-Construal: Whorfian Hypothesis Revisited, pp.1-34 $100.00
Authors:  Chiyoko Kobayashi Frank, Department of Psychology, Cornell University, NY
Abstract:
Recent cross-cultural research on various cognitive functions found clear cultural influence on
how we perceive our world. Likewise, neuroimaging research has found significant influence
of culture / language in theory of mind (ToM) – ability to understand mental states of others –
and self-construal (which is related to ToM) in the neural level. In this chapter, cross-cultural
and brain imaging research on ToM and related social cognition are selectively reviewed. I
discuss the roles of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) that
have been consistently implicated in ToM and perspective-taking (or distinguishing “self”
from “other”). These structures may be particularly important for culturally unique ways of
social cognition related to ToM and self-construal. Next, I briefly review current
developmental theories of ToM, and discuss whether or not the recent findings from
neuroimaging studies of ToM in children support these theories. Functional relationship
between “language regions” and ToM will also be reviewed along with these discussions.
Lastly, I present two models of culture / language-dependent and independent ToM
development. 


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Cultural and Linguistic Influence on Developmental Neural Basis of Theory of Mind and Self-Construal: Whorfian Hypothesis Revisited, pp.1-34