Tracking the temporal dynamics of cultural perceptual diversity in visual information processing

Lao, Junpeng (2014) Tracking the temporal dynamics of cultural perceptual diversity in visual information processing. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Human perception and cognition processing are not universal. Culture and experience markedly modulate visual information sampling in humans. Cross-cultural studies comparing between Western Caucasians (WCs) and East Asians (EAs) have shown cultural differences in behaviour and neural activities in regarding to perception and cognition. Particularly, a number of studies suggest a local perceptual bias for Westerners (WCs) and a global bias for Easterners (EAs): WCs perceive most efficiently the salient information in the focal object; as a contrast EAs are biased toward the information in the background. Such visual processing bias has been observed in a wide range of tasks and stimuli. However, the underlying neural mechanisms of such perceptual tunings, especially the temporal dynamic of different information coding, have yet to be clarified.
Here, in the first two experiments I focus on the perceptual function of the diverse eye movement strategies between WCs and EAs. Human observers engage in different eye movement strategies to gather facial information: WCs preferentially fixate on the eyes and mouth, whereas EAs allocate their gaze relatively more on the center of the face. By employing a fixational eye movement paradigm in Study 1 and electroencephalographic (EEG) recording in study 2, the results confirm the cultural differences in spatial-frequency information tuning and suggest the different perceptual functions of preferred eye movement pattern as a function of culture. The third study makes use of EEG adaptation and hierarchical visual stimulus to access the cultural tuning in global/local processing. Culture diversity driven by selective attention is revealed in the early sensory stage.
The results here together showed the temporal dynamic of cultural perceptual diversity. Cultural distinctions in the early time course are driven by selective attention to global information in EAs, whereas late effects are modulated by detail processing of local information in WC observers.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Culture, visual perception, face perception, EEG, eye movement
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QP Physiology
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Supervisor's Name: Muckli, Professor Lars
Date of Award: 2014
Depositing User: Mr Junpeng Lao
Unique ID: glathesis:2014-5055
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2014 09:17
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2014 09:59

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