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Neuropsychology. 2002 Jan;16(1):65-73.

Cultural variation in verbal versus spatial neuropsychological function across the life span.

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Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109, USA.


Established culture-invariant measures are needed for cross-cultural assessment of verbal and visuospatial speed of processing and working memory across the life span. In this study, 32 younger and 32 older adults from China and from the United States were administered numerically based and spatially based measures of speed of processing and working memory. Chinese superiority on the numerically based tasks was found for younger adults. Age and increasing task demands diminished this cultural effect, as predicted by the framework proposed by D. C. Park, R. Nisbett, and T. Hedden (1999). However, the visuospatial measures of both working memory and speed of processing did not differ cross-culturally for either age group. The authors concluded that these visuospatial measures provide culture-invariant estimates of cognitive processes in East Asian and Western cultures, but that numerically based tasks show evidence of cultural and linguistic biases in performance levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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