New research linking conservative political views with an enlarged part of the brain called the amygdala ~ responsible for reflexive impulses such as fear ~ still lacks sufficient data to say which came first: Does a fear-provoking enlarged amygdala encourage political conservatism, or does conservative thinking actually change the brain to create a larger amygdala?
Conservatives also display a smaller anterior cingulated, which is the part of the brain responsible for courage and optimism.
"We were very surprised to find that there was an area of the brain that we could predict political attitude,” according to Professor Geraint Rees of the University College of London, who lead the study. "It is very surprising because it does suggest there is something about political attitude that is encoded in our brain structure through our experience or that there is something in our brain structure that determines or results in political attitude."
The new research ~ to be published this year ~ supports an earlier study showing that some people were born with a "Liberal Gene" that makes people more likely to seek out less conventional political views. That gene, a neurotransmitter in the brain called DRD4, could even be stimulated by the novelty value of radical opinions, according to the London Telegraph.
Click here for the London Telegraph article.