Shihui Han: Neural Representation of the Self in Sociocultural Contexts


How people think about the self strongly influences their social communication and behavior. Recent cultural neuroscience studies have shown increasing evidence for modulation of neural representation of the self by cultural contexts and cultural experiences. I will present our recent research that used different psychological paradigms and different brain imaging methods to investigate cultural influences on neural mechanisms underlying self-reflection on personal attributes. I will also present preliminary brain imaging results that uncover how genes may interact with culture to shape the social brain network activity involved in reflection on the self and close others. These findings are helpful for understanding the biosocial nature of neural mechanisms of human self-concept. Dr. Shihui Han is a professor at the Department of Psychology, Peking University. He is the director of the Cultural and Social Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory. He served as the Chair of the Department of Psychology at Peking University between 2003 and 2007. He studies cultural and genetic influences on neural substrates of social cognition such as self-referential processing,
empathy, and theory-of-mind. He has published over a hundred research papers in journals such as Nature Review Neuroscience, Annual Review of Psychology, Brain, Journal of Neuroscience, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Psychological Science, NeuroImage, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Human Brain Mapping, Journalof Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, Social Neuroscience, etc. He is now the chief editor of Culture and Brain and the associate editor of Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscienc, Social Neuroscience, and Acta Psychologica Sinica.