Culture and Perception (07-30-20)

Mavridis and colleagues’ work adds to the research indicating that our culture influences our perception of the world around us.  The investigators report that “Human perception differs profoundly between individuals from different cultures. . . . we investigated the development of context-sensitive attention (the relative focus on context elements of a visual scene) in a large sample . . . of 5- to 15-year-olds and young adults from rural and urban Brazil, namely from agricultural villages in the Amazon region and the city of São Paulo. . . . children and adults from the urban sample had a higher level of context-sensitive attention, when compared to children and adults from the rural sample. In particular, participants from São Paulo were more easily deceived by the context elements in an optical illusion task and remembered more context elements in a recognition task than participants from rural Amazon villages. . . . These findings support the idea that visual information processing is highly dependent on the culture-specific learning environments from very early in development.”

Pablo Mavridis, Joscha Kartner, Lilia Cavalcante, Briseida Resende, Nils Schuhmacher, and Moritz Koster.   2020.  “The Development of Context-Sensitive Attention in Urban and Rural Brazil.”  Frontiers in Psychology, https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01623