Processing of a spoken narrative in the human brain is shaped by family cultural background

Description: We studied influence of family cultural background on interpretation and processing of an audiobook in the brain. 48 healthy participants from two different family cultural backgrounds listened to 71-min audiobook during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of brain activity. Subsequently, subjects listed words describing what had been on their minds when they heard the audiobook during neuroimaging. Semantic analysis of these lists revealed between-group differences in audiobook interpretation. Between-group differences in inter-subject correlation of fMRI activity suggest that shared family cultural background enhanced audiobook-processing similarity at prelexical, word, sentence, and narrative levels, as well as enhanced similarity of imagery. Of different background variables, social identity shaped processing of the narrative in the brain. These effects might enhance mutual understanding between persons who share family cultural background and social identity and, conversely, deteriorate between-group mutual understanding in modern multicultural societies wherein native speakers of a language often assume identical understanding.

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Add DateAug. 27, 2019, 4:58 p.m.
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