Love things like this - study showing that the way different cultures actually physically look at an image is very different, not just the way they interpret images (and indeed events).
Basically Americans focus quickly and more exclusively on a foreground object, while Asians, in this case Chinese, are more likely to look repeatedly at the background, scanning it for details. So the thinking goes this then can explain (/or is a result of) the way Asian cultures are more likely to look at events or information in context.
You could make some astoundingly wild leaps of reasoning off this about the way people behave and the way societies view news and current affairs... but why make a neat insight into how eye movement relates to our mental process partisan...
I would love to know if you can get similar divergent results within geographic populations though. I’ve seen similar types of research into the connectivity between female vs male brains (basically women tend to have more connections so think & literally see more than most men, who are conversely more focused on a particular thing).
A couple of links for more info & soundbites:
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Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Posted by Lachlan at 6/27/2006 08:59:00 AM