Hannah Bunting

By William & Mary

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Cultural Neuroscience of Social Decision Making: A fMRI study in Tokyo

Past research has shown that Japan is a collectivist and therefore cooperative society, whereas America is an individualistic and self-serving society. These cultural differences can shape the way people think and feel, particularly in their interactions with others. The new field of cultural neuroscience has attempted to analyze the neural basis of cultural differences in decision making. Doing cross-cultural research using fMRI is difficult because typically data collection from different fMRI machines cannot be compared due to differences in the devices and their calibration. While studying abroad in Japan this semester, I will have access to both Japanese and American student participants from my international program that will be studied using one fMRI machine for consistent results. The aim of this research is to identify the neural basis for cultural differences in social decision making which have been documented in behavioral research.

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