Holly Bailey tells us, courtesy Yahoo News, (Apr 11, 11:41) “Will President Obama and the House GOP ever agree? Science suggests no”:
Using data from MRI scans, researchers at the University College London found that self-described liberals have a larger anterior cingulate cortex–a gray matter of the brain associated with understanding complexity. Meanwhile, self-described conservatives are more likely to have a larger amygdala, an almond-shaped area that is associated with fear and anxiety.
“Previously, some psychological traits were known to be predictive of an individual’s political orientation,” lead researcher Ryota Kanai writes of the study in the latest issue of Current Biology. “Our study now links personality traits with specific brain structure.”
A caution is offered:
While the London study does find distinct differences between Democrats and Republicans, its authors caution that more research needs to be done on the subject. One unknown is whether people are simply born with their political beliefs or if our brains adjust to life experiences–which is a possibility, Kanai writes.
Other sources account for voting patterns in terms of history, economics, and social circumstances, which could of course influence brain development.
Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose