Liberal Brains Do Better With Complexity; Conservative Brains Bigger In Fear Area

Posted by | April 8, 2011 20:44 | Filed under: Top Stories

A study in Current Biology shows that liberals have more gray matter in the area of the brain that has to do with understanding complexity, and conservatives do better in the area dealing with fear. (h/t AMERICAblog)

Other research has shown greater brain activity in those areas, according to which political views a person holds, but this is the first study to show a physical difference in size in the same regions.

“Previously, some psychological traits were known to be predictive of an individual’s political orientation,” said Ryota Kanai of the University College London, where the research took place.

“Our study now links such personality traits with specific brain structure.”

People with a large amygdala are “more sensitive to disgust” and tend to “respond to threatening situations with more aggression than do liberals and are more sensitive to threatening facial expressions,” the study said.

Liberals are linked to larger anterior cingulate cortexes, a region that “monitor(s) uncertainty and conflicts,” it said.

“Thus, it is conceivable that individuals with a larger ACC have a higher capacity to tolerate uncertainty and conflicts, allowing them to accept more liberal views.”

I wonder if brain scans of voters would be able to one day predict political outcomes.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Alan

Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.

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