Cultural neuroscience: biology of the mind in cultural contexts

Annu Rev Psychol. 2014;65:487-514. doi: 10.1146/annurev-psych-010213-115040. Epub 2013 Sep 11.


This article provides a review of how cultural contexts shape and are shaped by psychological and neurobiological processes. We propose a framework that aims to culturally contextualize behavioral, genetic, neural, and physiological processes. Empirical evidence is presented to offer concrete examples of how neurobiological processes underlie social behaviors, and how these components are interconnected in larger cultural contexts. These findings provide some understanding of how the meanings shared by cultural experiences trigger a neurobiological, psychological, and behavioral chain of events, and how these events may be coordinated and maintained within a person. The review concludes with a reflection on the current state of cultural neuroscience and questions for the field to address.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology*
  • Culture*
  • Humans
  • Mind-Body Relations, Metaphysical / physiology*
  • Neurosciences
  • Social Behavior*