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date: 11 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Many studies show the cultural dependence of the brain’s neural activity, but the underlying mechanisms of such “enculturation of brain” are unclear. How it is possible for the neural activity to be so strongly dependent on and shaped by the cultural context? Conceptually, this raises the question for the concept of culture and its relationship to the brain and what exactly is meant by “enculturation of brain.” Empirically, the enculturation of brain raises the more general and basic question of how stimuli and their respective cultural context are encoded into neural activity. I suggest a statistically based coding strategy that encodes the stimuli’s statistical frequency distribution rather than the single stimuli into neural activity. The cultural dependence of neural activity may be traced back to the brain’s neural code and its particular encoding strategy, the encoding of the stimuli’s natural and sociocultural statistics, which may account for the enculturation of brain.

Keywords: Cultural neuroscience, neurophilosophy, context dependence, encoding, natural statistics, sociocultural statistics, “enculturation of brain, ” embrainment of culture, layers of culture, psychiatry

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