Abstract: What is the cultural and biological basis of human diversity? Cultural neuroscience is an emerging field that examines how cultural and genetic diversity shape mind, brain and behavior. In this talk, I will describe neuroimaging evidence that culture affects neural response during emotion and social cognition across macro– and micro-timescales. I will also discuss a culture-gene coevolutionary theory of emotion and social cognition. Implications for future research as well as challenges and opportunities for development of research-teaching infrastructure in cultural neuroscience will be discussed.
Bio: Joan Y. Chiao is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Northwestern University. She received her BA in Symbolic Systems with Honors from Stanford University in 2000 and PhD in Psychology from Harvard University in 2006 studying social psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Her main research interests include cultural neuroscience of emotion and social interaction, social and affective neuroscience across development, social dominance and affiliation, and integrating psychology and neuroscience research with public policy and population health issues. Dr. Chiao currently serves on the board of several journals including Neuroimage, Culture and Brain, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Social Neuroscience, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Frontiers in Cultural Psychology, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, and Biology of Anxiety and Mood Disorders. In 2009-10, she served as Editor for an edited volume of Progress in Brain Research on cultural neuroscience called “Cultural Neuroscience: Cultural Influences on Brain Function” and a special issue on cultural neuroscience in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. Dr. Chiao is a recipient of funding from the National Science Foundation, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and Technology and the National Institutes of Health. She was recently named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science and is currently the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the NIH-sponsored International Cultural Neuroscience Consortium, an organization dedicated to advancing theory and methods in cultural neuroscience with a focus on culture and health.