In “Left brain, right brain: researchers link neurology to political orientation” Andrew Duffy, Ottawa Citizen Postmedia News April 7, 2011) tells us,
The study, published in the online edition of Current Biology, found that people who identified themselves as liberal tended to have larger anterior cingulate cortexes (ACC), a region of the brain that monitors uncertainty and conflict.Meanwhile, those who identified themselves as conservative had larger amygdalas. Among other things, the almond-shaped amygdala processes emotions related to fear.
Researchers believe the physical differences reflect the nature of voters: that liberals tend to be more comfortable with uncertainty while conservatives are more sensitive to fear.
Observers have noted that Canada, mid-election, is currently a target for this sort of thing.
Those who read all the way down to the bottom will encounter the lines:
“It’s very unlikely that actual political orientation is directly encoded in these brain regions,” he said, warning more work must be done to understand how the regions interact with other parts of the brain.
Note: These results are at some odds with the findings in the last decade on the neuroplasticity of the brain. For a discussion of known drivers of voting patterns, go here.
Hat tip: Five Feet of Fury