A new report appeared online in Current Biology on April 7, speculating that the brains of Republicans and Democrats may have organic differences. Could we soon be able to tell from your brain scan who you voted for in the last election?
Scientists found that people who call themselves liberal tend to have larger anterior cingulate cortexes, or what I refer to as the brain’s “gear shifter.” This means they have the ability to hold two sides of a conflicting issue easier, as they examine one view, then the other, “shifting” easily back and forth.
People who call themselves conservative tend to have larger amygdalas, the area of the brain that is involved in fear or anxiety responses. They seem to have a greater ability to perceive a threat.
Other reports have shown that while conservatives are more sensitive to threat or anxiety in the face of uncertainty, liberals tend to be more open to new experiences.
The questions remains, “Which came first?” Did our brains adapt differently as we took in more information and listened to viewpoints from one political slant? Or was the personality already formed that led to preferences for choosing a certain political party?
Over time, of course, our views, including ones about politics, may change based on new information and experiences. Does this mean our brain has somehow changed as well? Good questions that remain to be answered.
However, just as we need different personalities to run a balanced home or office; perhaps our varying brain types have insured that we also have a balance of power in place when it comes to running our government.
Are you curious about what “brain type” you are? The link below may help you pin point it, and perhaps foretell who you will vote for in the next election!