Liberals, Conservatives Have Different Brains

Or least different-sized parts, say scientists
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2010 4:00 PM CST
Updated Jan 2, 2011 7:37 AM CST
Conservative or liberal? Brain researchers may be able to tell.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Here's a study sure to stoke controversy—British researchers have found that political orientation correlates to the relative size of certain parts of the brain. Liberals can boast of thicker gray matter at the anterior cingulate, while conservatives can brag about their bigger amygdalas, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. How all this plays out in decision-making is unclear, but researchers thinks it's worth exploring.

"It is very significant because it does suggest there is something about political attitudes that are either encoded in our brain structure through our experience or that our brain structure in some way determines or results in our political attitudes," says one neuroscientist. Oddly enough, the study began as a joke suggestion by actor Colin Firth during a guest spot on BBC. "I just decided to find out what was biologically wrong with people who don't agree with me," he said, "and the scientists actually came up with something." (Read more amygdala stories.)

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