Department of Cognitive Science
Cultural variation in elite athletes: Does elite cognitive-perceptual skill always converge?
Greg Downey (firstname.lastname@example.org)Department of Anthropology, Macquarie University, Sydney
AbstractAnthropologists have not participated extensively in the cognitive science synthesis for a host of reasons, including internal conflicts in the discipline and profound reservations about the ways that cultural differences have been modeled in psychology, neuroscience, and other contributors to cognitive science. This paper proposes a skills-based model for culture that overcomes some of the problems inherent in the treatment of culture as shared information. Athletes offer excellent cases studies for how skill acquisition, like enculturation, affects the human nervous system. In addition, cultural differences in playing styles of the same sport, such as distinctive ways of playing rugby, demonstrate how varying solution strategies to similar athletic problems produce distinctive skill profiles.
Citation details for this article:Downey, G. (2010). Cultural variation in elite athletes: does elite cognitive-perceptual skill always converge? In W. Christensen, E. Schier, and J. Sutton (Eds.), ASCS09: Proceedings of the 9th Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science (pp. 72-80). Sydney: Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science.
Download the PDF here
- Baker, J., Côté, J., & Abernethy, B. (2003) Sport-specific training, deliberate practice and the development of expertise in team ball sports. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 15, 12-25. doi: 10.1080/10413200305400
- Bang, M., Medin, D. L., & Atran, S. (2007) Cultural mosaics and mental models of nature. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (USA), 104, 13868-13874. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0706627104
- Benedict, R. (1934) Patterns of Culture. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
- Boas, F. (1911) The Mind of Primitive Man. New York: Macmillan.
- Bourdieu, P. (1990) In Other Words: Essays Towards a Reflexive Sociology. Translated by Matthew Adamson. Stanford, CA: Stanford U.
- Bukach, C M., Gauthier, I., & Tarr, M J. (2006) Beyond faces and modularity: the power of an expertise framework. Trends in Cognitive Science, 10, 159-166. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2006.02.004
- Calvo-Merino, B., Glaser, D. E., Grèzes, J., Passingham, R. E., & Haggard, P. (2004) Action observation and acquired motor skills: An fMRI study with expert dancers. Cerebral Cortex, 15, 1243-1249. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhi007
- Campbell, B. C., & Garcia, J. R. (2009) Neuroanthropology: evolution and emotional embodiment. Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience, 1, 4. Retrieved December 2, 2009 from www.frontiersin.org.
- Cannon-Bowers, J. A., Salas, E., & Converse, S. (1993) Shared mental models in expert team decision making. In N. J. Castellan, Jr. (ed.), Individual and group decision making: Current issues (pp. 221-246). Hillsdale, NJ: LEA.
- Cantlon, J. F., & Brannon, E. M. (2006) Adding up the effects of cultural experience on the brain. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11, 1-4.
- Chase W. G., & Simon H. A. (1973) The mind's eye in chess. In W. G. Chase (ed.) Visual Information Processing (pp. 215-81). New York: Academic.
- Chiao, J. Y., Li, Z., & Harada, T. (2008) Cultural Neuroscience of Consciousness: From Visual Perception to Self-Awareness. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 15, 58-69.
- Chua, H. F., Boland, J. E., &. Nisbett, R. E. (2005) Cultural variation in eye movements during scene perception. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (USA), 102, 12629-12633. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0506162102
- Cohen, A. B. (2009) Many forms of culture. American Psychologist, 64, 194-204. doi: 10.1037/a0015308
- Cole, M. (2003) Culture and cognitive science. Outlines, 5, 3-15.
- D'Andrade, R. G. (1981) The cultural part of cognition. Cognitive Science, 5, 179-195. doi: 10.1207/s15516709cog0503_1
- Dias, AM. (2010) Foundations of neuroanthropology. Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience. Retrieved on 2 February 2, 2010 from www.frontiersin.org.
- Domínguez Duque, J. F., Turner, R., Lewis, E. D., & Egan, G. (2009) Neuroanthropology: a humanistic science for the study of the culture-brain nexus. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (Advanced Access). Retrieved on September 9, 2009 from scan.oxfordjournals.org.
- Downey, G. (2005) Learning Capoeira: Lessons in Cunning from an Afro-Brazilian Art. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Downey, G. (2008a) Coaches as phenomenologists: para-ethnographic work in sports. Proceedings of the 2006 Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies (ADSA), Being There: Before, During and After.
- Downey, G. (2008b) Scaffolding imitation in capoeira: physical education and enculturation in an Afro-Brazilian art. American Anthropologist, 110, 204-213. doi: 10.1111/j.1548-1433.2008.00026.x
- Downey, G. (2009) Escaping Orientalism in cultural psychology. Neuroanthropology.net. Retrieved on 24 January, 2010 from neuroanthropology.net.
- Downey, G. (Forthcoming) (2010) 'Practice without theory': a neuroanthropological perspective on embodied knowledge. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute.
- Downey, G., & Lende, D. (2009) The encultured brain: Why neuroanthropology? Why now? Conference statement for The Encultured Brain. Retrieved on 24 January, 2010 from neuroanthropology.net.
- Draganski, B., Gaser, C., Busch, V., Schuierer, G., Bogdahn, U. & May, A. (2004) Neuroplasticity: Changes in grey matter induced by training. Nature, 427(6972), 311-312. doi: 10.1038/427311a
- Draganski, B., & May, A. (2008) Training-induced structural changes in the adult human brain. Behavioural Brain Research, 192, 137-142. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2008.02.015
- Edelman, G. M. (2006) Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
- Ericsson, K. A., & Lehmann, A. C. (1996) Expert and exceptional performance: evidence of maximal adaptation to task constraints. Annual Review of Psychology, 47, 273-305. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.47.1.273
- Gardiner, H. (1985) The Mind's New Science. New York: Basic.
- Grasseni, C. (Ed.). (2007) Skilled Visions: between apprenticeship and standards. New York and Oxford: Berghahn.
- Greenfield, P. M. (2000) What psychology can do for anthropology, or why anthropology took postmodernism on the chin. American Anthropologist, 102, 564-576. doi: 10.1525/aa.2000.102.3.564
- Güss, C. D., Tuason, M. T., & Gerhard, C. (2009) Cross-National Comparisons of Complex Problem-Solving Strategies in Two Microworlds. Cognitive Science, 1-32.
- Gutchess, A. H., Welsh, R. C., Boduroglu, A., & Park, D. C. (2006) Cultural differences in neural function associated with object processing. Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience, 6, 102-109. doi: 10.3758/CABN.6.2.102
- Han, S., & Northoff, G. (2008) Culture-sensitive neural substrates of human cognition: a transcultural neuroimaging approach. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 9, 646-654. doi: 10.1038/nrn2456
- Helsen, W. F., Starkes, J. L. & NJ Hodges, N. J. (1998) Team sports and the theory of deliberate practice. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 20, 12-34.
- Hermans, H. J. M., & Kempen, H. J. G. (1998). Moving cultures: The perilous problems of cultural dichotomies in a globalizing society. American Psychologist, 53, 1111-1120. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.53.10.1111
- Hutchins, E. (1995) Cognition in the Wild. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
- Huttenlocher, P. R. (2002) Neural Plasticity: The Effects of Environment on the Development of the Cerebral Cortex. Cambridge, MA, and London: Harvard University Press.
- Ingold, T. (2000) The Perception of the Environment: Essays in Livelihood, Dwelling and Skill. London and New York: Routledge.
- Karni, A., Meyer, G., Jezzard, P., Adams, M., Turner, R., & Ungerleider, L. (1995) Functional MRI evidence for adult motor cortex plasticity during motor skill learning. Nature, 377, 155-158.
- Kelly, A. M. C, & Garavan, H. (2005) Human functional neuroimaging of brain changes associated with practice. Cerebral Cortex, 15, 1089-1102.
- Kitayama, S. (2002) Culture and basic psychological processes-toward a system view of culture: Comment on Oyserman et al. (2002). Psychological Bulletin, 128, 89-96.
- Kitayama, S. & Cohen, D. (Eds.). (2007) Handbook of Cultural Psychology. New York: Guilford Press.
- Kobayashi, C., Glover, G. H., & Temple. E. (2007) Children's and adults' neural bases of verbal and nonverbal "theory of mind." Neuropsychologia, 45, 1522-1532. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2006.11.017
- Kobayashi, C., Glover, G. H., & Temple. E. (2008) Switching language switches mind: linguistic effects on developmental neural bases of 'Theory of Mind.' Social, Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience, 3, 62-70.
- Kuhl, P. K., Williams, K. A., Lacerda, F., Stevens, K. N., & Lindblom, B. (1992) Linguistic experience alters phonetic perception in infants by 6 months. Science, 255, 606-608. doi: 10.1126/science.1736364
- Lewis, R. S., Goto, S. G., & Kong, L. L. (2008) Culture and context: East Asian American and European American differences in P3 event-related potentials and self-construal. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 623-634. doi: 10.1177/0146167207313731
- Maguire, E. A., Gadian, D. G., Johnsrude, I. S., Good, C. D., Ashburner, J., Frackowiak, R. S. J., & Frith, C. D. (2000) Navigation-related structural change in the hippocampi of cab drivers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (USA), 97, 4398-4403. doi: 10.1073/pnas.070039597
- Marsh, A. A., Elfenbein, H. A., & Ambady, N. (2003) Nonverbal "accents": Cultural differences in facial expressions of emotion. Psychological Science, 14, 373-376. doi: 10.1111/1467-9280.24461
- Masuda T., & Nisbett, R. E. (2001) Attending holistically versus analytically: Comparing the context sensitivity of Japanese and Americans. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 922-934. doi: 10.1037/0022-35126.96.36.1992
- McClure, S., Li, J., Tomlin, D., Cypert, J. S., Montague, L. M., & Montague, P. R. (2004) Neural correlates of behavioral preference for culturally familiar drinks. Neuron, 44, 379-87. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2004.09.019
- Moriguchi, Y., Ohnishi, T., Kawachi, T., Mori, T., Hirakata, M., Yamada, M., Matsuda, H., & Komaki, G. (2005) Specific brain activation in Japanese and Caucasian people to fearful faces. NeuroReport, 16, 133-136. doi: 10.1097/00001756-200502080-00012
- Münte, T. F., Altenmüller, E., & Jäncke, L. 2002. The musician's brain as a model of neuroplasticity. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 3, 473-478.
- Nisbett, R. (2003) The Geography of Thought, How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why. New York: Free Press.
- Nisbett, R. E., & Masuda, T. (2003) Culture and point of view. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (USA), 100, 11163-11170. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1934527100
- Norman, D. (1980) Twelve Issues for Cognitive Science. Cognitive Science, 4, 1-32. doi: 10.1207/s15516709cog0401_1
- Oyserman, D., Coon, H. M., & Kemmelmeier, M. (2002). Rethinking individualism and collectivism: Evaluation of theoretical assumptions and meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 128, 3-72. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.128.1.3
- Park, D., & Gutchess, A. (2006) The cognitive neuroscience of aging and culture. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15, 105-8. doi: 10.1111/j.0963-7214.2006.00416.x
- Poldrack R. A., Desmond J. E., Glover G. H., & Gabrieli J. D. (1998) The neural basis of visual skill learning; an fMRI study of mirror reading. Cereb Cortex, 8, 1-10. doi: 10.1093/cercor/8.1.1
- Said, E. W. (1978) Orientalism. New York: Pantheon Books.
- Scholz, J., Klein, M. C., Behrens, T. E. J., & Johansen-Berg, H. (2009) Training induces changes in white-matter architecture. Nature Neuroscience, 12, 1367-1368.
- Shore, B. (1996) Culture in Mind: Cognition, Culture, and the Problem of Meaning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Shweder, R. A., & Haidt, J. (2000). The cultural psychology of the emotions: Ancient and new. In M. Lewis & J. Haviland (Ed.), Handbook of emotions, 2nd edition (pp. 397-414). New York: Guilford .
- Sperber, D. (1996) Explaining Culture: A Naturalistic Approach. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
- Sperber, D., & Hirschfeld, L. A. (2004) The cognitive foundation of cultural stability and diversity. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 8, 40-46. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2003.11.002
- Strohschneider, S., & Güss, C. D. (1998). Planning and problem solving: Differences between Brazilian and German students. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 29, 695-716. doi: 10.1177/0022022198296002
- Strohschneider, S., & Güss, C. D. (1999). The fate of the MOROs: A cross-cultural exploration of strategies in complex and dynamic decision making. International Journal of Psychology, 34, 235-252.
- Tang, Y., Zhang, W., Chen, K., Feng, S., Ji, Y., Shen, J., Reiman, E. M., & Liu, Y. (2006) Arithmetic processing in the brain shaped by cultures. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (USA), 103, 10775-10780. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0604416103
- Triandis, H. C. (1995). Individualism and collectivism. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
- Uskul, A. K., Kitayama, S., & Nisbett, R. E. 2008. Ecocultural basis of cognition: Farmers and fishermen are more holistic than herders. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (USA), 105, 8552-8556. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0803874105
- Vuillerme, N., & Nougier, V. (2004) Attentional demand for regulating postural sway: the effect of expertise in gymnastics. Brain Research Bulletin, 63, 161-165. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2004.02.006
- Zhu, Y., & Han, S. (2008) Cultural differences in the self: From philosophy to psychology and neuroscience. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 2, 1799-1811. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-9004.2008.00133.x
- Monday 31st Aug,
Professor Jeremy Wolfe,
"Considering your limitations, you are doing pretty well (Presented by ..."
- Monday 31st Aug,
Professors Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky and Matthias Schlesewsky,
"Towards a neurobiologically plausible model of higher-order language. ..."
- Monday 7th Sep,
Professor Etzel Cardeņa,
"The effect of hypnotizability, dissociation, and attachment Styles in ..."
- Friday 11th Sep,
Dr Alana Grech,
"Maximise your impact: Building online profiles for academics and ..."