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date: 04 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

How do genes affect the human brain, cognition, and culture? This chapter focuses on these interrelated areas through the lens of the serotonin transporter (5-HTT), specifically examining the behavioral regulation system in Japanese people. First, relationships between the 5-HTT gene and impulsive behavior under aversive conditions are discussed. Next, this chapter shows that in collectivistic nations, individuals with higher interdependent self-construal optimize activation of the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (rVLPFC) when suppressing thoughts of death. Finally, as a function of psychosocial resources, higher levels of social trust affect adaptive processes and increase rVLPFC activity, all of which are geared toward modulating social pain. Thus, S allele carriers are more likely to adapt to collectivistic cultures because of the functional properties of the S allele, which may in turn promote collectivistic cultural norms.

Keywords: Serotonin, 5-HTT gene, prefrontal cortex, impulsivity, general trust, interdependent self-construal, Japanese population

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