Interdependent self-construal predicts increased gray matter volume of scene processing regions in the brain. Academic Article uri icon


  • Interdependent self-construal (SC) is thought to lead to a more holistic cognitive style that emphasizes the processing of the background scene of a focal object. At present, little is known about whether the structural properties of the brain might underlie this functional relationship. Here, we examined the gray matter (GM) volume of three cortical regions involved in scene processing -- a cornerstone of contextual processing. Study 1 tested 78 European American non-student adults and found that interdependent (vs. independent) SC predicts higher GM volume in the parahippocampal place area (PPA), one of the three target regions. Testing both European American and East Asian college students (total N = 126), Study 2 replicated this association. Moreover, the GM volume of all the three target regions was greater for East Asians than for European Americans. Our findings suggest that there is a structural neural underpinning for the cultural variation in cognitive style.

published proceedings

  • Biol Psychol

author list (cited authors)

  • Yu, Q., King, A. P., Yoon, C., Liberzon, I., Schaefer, S. M., Davidson, R. J., & Kitayama, S.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Yu, Qinggang||King, Anthony P||Yoon, Carolyn||Liberzon, Israel||Schaefer, Stacey M||Davidson, Richard J||Kitayama, Shinobu

publication date

  • April 2021