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Poster B23

The Neural Architecture of Interpersonal Cultural Conflicts

Poster Session B - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Siyuan Zhou1,2 (, Xinran Xu2, Xiangyu He2, Ruhuiya Aili2, Chunming Lu2; 1Institute of Brain and Psychological Sciences, Sichuan Normal University, Chengdu, PR China, 2State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning and IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain,Beijing Normal University, Beijing, PR China

Culture shock is an experience a person may have when she/he interacts with others having different cultural backgrounds. Although culture shock is ubiquitous in all cross-culture interactions, its neurocognitive mechanism remains elusive. In this study, we addressed this issue by asking 31 American and Chinese participants with limited other-culture experiences to freely discuss a topic. Their brain activities were simultaneously collected using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) hyperscanning. Here we used the dissimilarity in multi-dimensional cognitive representation to index culture conflicts. Through combining natural language processing (NLP) and behavioral assessment, we identified two aspects of culture-relevant cognitive conflicts, one at the level of semantic representation and the other at the level of cultural value representation. Moreover, we calculated Interpersonal Neural Synchronization (INS) between interlocutors for both within- and across-culture interaction, revealing decreased INS in across-culture interaction than in within-culture interaction. Additionally, by applying Interpersonal Representational Similarity Analysis (IP-RSA), INS between the medial prefrontal cortices of both individuals (mPFC-mPFC) was found to be associated with cultural value conflict, while that between the right middle temporal gyrus of Chinese and the left temporoparietal junction of American (rMTG-lTPJ) was found to be associated with semantic conflict. Finally, using Granger Causality Analysis (GCA), we found a bottom-up flow of the cultural conflict from the level of semantic representation to the level of cultural value representation. Together, these findings indicated a multi-layer hierarchy for the cognitive representation of cultural shock, with redacted INS between different brain regions of interlocutors supporting this distinct cognitive hierarchy.

Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Other


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