Sunday, July 10, 2011

Liberal? Conservative? Your Brains are Different, Study Finds

Liberals and Conservatives may have differences that go well beyond their opinions about what constitutes contempt of Parliament.

A British study suggests there are anatomical differences between the brains of opponents on the left and right of the political spectrum.

The study, published in the online edition of Current Biology, found people who identified themselves as liberal tended to have larger anterior cingulate cortexes, a region of the brain that monitors uncertainty and conflict. Those who identified themselves as conservative had larger amygdalas, a region that processes emotions related to fear.

Researchers say the physical differences reflect the nature of voters: Liberals tend to be more comfortable with uncertainty, conservatives are more sensitive to fear.