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The journal publishes full research papers.[Read More]
 

Cross-Cultural Effects and Attention in Active Inference

Yao Wen*
Linguistics, Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London, London, UK
Abstract—Earlier behavioural studies have shown a social and cognitive difference between European Americans and East Asian people. Westerners are thought to be more focused on object information, while the East Asians are more sensitive to context or relationship information. We focused on two neural studies and argued that this cross-cultural difference phenomenon could be explained by the attention mechanism. We applied the active inference framework to distinguish two aspects of attention, namely, the gain control and epistemic value. The former is involved in the exogenous, low-level response, and this automatic attention could account for the findings that are culturally favoured, such as change blindness and field dependence-independence distinction. The latter is involved in the endogenous, high-level responses, which is identical to the Bayesian surprise and could be measured by the P3 component. This epistemic value may account for tasks where no behavioural differences were found. Both the exogenous and endogenous value is used to minimise free energy in order to maximise the evidence of the generative model.

Keywords—cross-culture effect, attention, planning, prediction, Markov decision process

Cite:Yao Wen, "Cross-Cultural Effects and Attention in Active Inference," International Journal of Pharma Medicine and Biological Sciences, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 1-12, January 2023. doi: 10.18178/ijpmbs.12.1.1-12
 

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