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Cross-cultural differences in processing of architectural ranking: Evidence from an event-related potential study

Cross-cultural differences in processing of architectural ranking: Evidence from an event-related potential study

Authors: 
Mecklinger, A., Kriukova, O., Mühlmann, H. & Grunwald, T.
Year: 
2013
Journal: 
Cognitive Neuroscience
Abstract: 

Visual object identification is modulated by perceptual experience. In a cross-cultural ERP study we investigated whether cultural expertise determines how buildings that vary in their ranking between high and low according to the Western architectural decorum are perceived. Two groups of German and Chinese participants performed an object classification task in which high- and low-ranking Western buildings had to be discriminated from everyday life objects. ERP results indicate that an early stage of visual object identification (i.e., object model selection) is facilitated for high-ranking buildings for the German participants, only. At a later stage of object identification, in which object knowledge is complemented by information from semantic and episodic long-term memory, no ERP evidence for cultural differences was obtained. These results suggest that the identification of architectural ranking is modulated by culturally specific expertise with Western-style architecture already at an early processing stage.

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