"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

East and West 

I've always been interested in Asian culture. My grandfather collected Asian art - he had an amazing assortment of pieces ranging from near-modern to very ancient - and was always happy to tell my sister and I all about each piece, where it came from, and how it might have been made. Being a good American Jewish family, we ate Chinese carryout quite a bit too.

A study published this week has found an interesting difference between how American and Chinese students process visual images: the Americans focus on a central object, and the Chinese take in the whole scene. This work supports the hypothesis is that Americans focus on discrete things, whereas East Asian people focus on how things relate to a whole, along with previous studies observing American and Japanese mothers introducing their children to toy trucks.

Besides the sociological implications of this study, another thing that I like about it is that it is a beautiful example of how culture influences a fairly basic, unconscious part of how the body works: the cultural differences between Chinese and American students dictates how they physically look at things, not just metaphysically!

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?