Mother-Child Brain Activity When Co-viewing and Discussing In-Group, Out-Group and Multicultural Preschool Stories: An fNIRS Hyperscanning Study from Singapore (76516)

Session Information: Psychology and Education
Session Chair: Atiqah Azhari

Thursday, 28 March 2024 12:00
Session: Session 2
Room: Room 607
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Children in multicultural societies are exposed to people of the same (in-group) and different (out-group) ethnicities from a young age. However, little is understood regarding the parent-child mechanisms that transpire when dyads view and discuss stories about different ethnic groups. Here, we presented pairs of Singaporean Chinese mothers and their 4-to-6-year old children with three narrated preschool stories: (1) Chinese New Year celebrations (in-group), (2) Deepavali celebrations (out-group) and (3) a multicultural condition featuring characters of different ethnicities in a neighbourhood setting (mix of in-group and out-group). Mother-child dyads wore a 20-channel fNIRS cap with a prefrontal cortex (PFC) montage while viewing and discussing each story for 5min. In the discussion task, mothers were prompted to ask their child whether and why they would help the protagonist in each story. Preliminary results indicate that, during the discussion task, mothers showed heightened brain activity towards the multicultural condition, compared to the other conditions, in the right anterior PFC which oversees the retrieval of explicit memory to be used in speech. In children, the same pattern was observed, where children showed greater brain activity in the multicultural condition, compared to the other conditions, in the left dorsolateral PFC which controls cognitive tasks such as planning and reasoning. No significant differences between in-group and out-group conditions were observed. Findings from this study suggest that the multicultural condition stimulated greater cognitive engagement in dyads, where mothers potentially referred to previous experiences in multicultural settings to facilitate discussions surrounding moral reasoning with their children.

Atiqah Azhari, Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore
Mengyu Lim, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Farah Nabilah Binte Abdul Malek, Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore
Hui Ping Sherry Chai, Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore
Gianluca Esposito, University of Trento, Italy
Annabel Shen-Hsing Chen, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Atiqah Azhari is a University Assistant Professor/Lecturer at Singapore University of Social Sciences in Singapore

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00