Brain structure differs in liberals, conservatives: study
WASHINGTON — Everyone knows that liberals and conservatives butt heads when it comes to world views, but scientists have now shown that their brains are actually built differently.
Liberals have more gray matter in a part of the brain associated with understanding complexity, while the conservative brain is bigger in the section related to processing fear, said the study on Thursday in Current Biology.
"We found that greater liberalism was associated with increased gray matter volume in the anterior cingulate cortex, whereas greater conservatism was associated with increased volume of the right amygdala," the study said.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.""Our findings are consistent with the proposal that political orientation is associated with psychological processes for managing fear and uncertainty," the study said.