How Culture Shapes Mind, Neurobiology and Behaviour
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionKolstad, A. (2015). How culture shapes mind, neurobiology and behaviour. British Journal of Education, Society & Behavioural Science, 6(4), 255-274. doi: 10.9734/BJESBS/2015/13241
This article has the intention to explain how culture influences human mind and brain by referring to recent research in relevant disciplines: i.e., cultural psychology, cross-cultural psychology, genetics and epigenetics, neurobiology and neuropsychology, and cultural neuroscience. Cultural-historical psychology, represented by Lev Vygotsky and the concepts ‘lower’ and ‘higher’ psychological functions are used as theoretical tools to explain how culture generates human mind and brain. Lower psychological functions are the natural, non-volatile, instinctive functions not involving language, signs or thought. In the brain this mind state is represented by neural networks established before birth primarily by the genetic outfit. The higher psychological functions are created after birth by the individual in cultural/social interaction and communication. These functions are unique to every individual, depending alike on genetic features, lower psychological functions and socio-cultural experience, and represented by neurons all over the brain connected with synapses created after birth.