Effects of culture, language and experience
Learning and development are influenced by culture and experience from birth: indeed, even earlier. As discussed in Chapter 10, not only does the brain influence what we can experience, but experience also influences the development and organization of the brain. For human beings, experience is intrinsically influenced by culture. Culture influences the language that we speak; the social organization of the community in which we grow up; the practical and economic activities that we pursue and the age at which we begin them; whether we go to school or not and the form that our schooling takes. It influences the existence and nature of the monetary system that we use and the major preoccupations of the society. For example, age and birthdays are important concerns within most western cultures, but not in certain other cultures.