Cultural Diversity and Saccade Similarities: Culture Does Not Explain Saccade Latency Differences between Chinese and Caucasian Participants

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Abstract

A central claim of cultural neuroscience is that the culture to which an individual belongs plays a key role in shaping basic cognitive processes and behaviours, including eye movement behaviour. We previously reported a robust difference in saccade behaviour between Chinese and Caucasian participants; Chinese participants are much more likely to execute low latency express saccades, in circumstances in which these are normally discouraged. To assess the extent to which this is the product of culture we compared a group of 70 Chinese overseas students (whose primary cultural exposure was that of mainland China), a group of 45 participants whose parents were Chinese but who themselves were brought up in the UK (whose primary cultural exposure was western European) and a group of 70 Caucasian participants. Results from the Schwartz Value Survey confirmed that the UK-Chinese group were culturally similar to the Caucasian group. However, their patterns of saccade latency were identical to the mainland Chinese group, and different to the Caucasian group. We conclude that at least for the relatively simple reflexive saccade behaviour we have investigated, culture cannot explain the observed differences in behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e94424
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2014

Keywords

  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group/ethnology
  • Cultural Diversity
  • European Continental Ancestry Group/ethnology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Saccades
  • Young Adult

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