Effects of mono- and bicultural experiences on auditory perception

Patrick C.M. Wong, Alice H.D. Chan, Elizabeth H. Margulis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The auditory system functions in the context of everyday life and the cultural environment in which we live. Although cultural-invariant, universal principles certainly contribute to sound processing, cultural factors play a role as well. In this review paper, we discuss two potential sources of cultural influence on auditory perception. We term the first type bottom-up, and use it to refer to the way that increased exposure to particular kinds of sound could shape our auditory and auditory-neural responses. The second type we term top-down, and use it to refer to the way our cultural upbringing broadly shapes how we think, which may in turn have an impact on how we perceive the world. An important consideration regarding cultural influences is that many individuals grow up with exposure to environmental stimulations of more than one culture. In our discussion, we will consider both mono- and bicultural experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-162
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Neuroscience
  • History and Philosophy of Science


  • Bimusicalism
  • Culture
  • FMRI
  • Music perception


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