Study: Conservative, Liberal Brains Physically Different

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BY SAMANTHA MCCLENDON ANCHOR JENNIFER MECKLES You're watching multisource science news analysis from Newsy ...
BY SAMANTHA MCCLENDON ANCHOR JENNIFER MECKLES You're watching multisource science news analysis from Newsy The shape of your brain could indicate your political views -- that’s according to scientists at the University College London, who scanned 90 brains and found people who identify with different ends of the political spectrum have differently-shaped brains. ABC explains. “Scans revealed that the liberal students tended to have a larger region of the brain that processes conflicting information. That, say the authors, might make for tolerance to uncertainty in more liberal views. The conservatives tended to have a larger part of the brain that processes fear and identifies threats. They might be more inclined to integrate conservative views into their politics.” According to Live Science, it is not known whether nature or nurture is to blame for the difference of the brain structures. It says... “Perhaps there are differences in the brain as to why some people seem to have no interest in politics at all, or why some people line up for Macs while others stick with their PCs. All of these tendencies might be linked in some way to peculiarities of our personalities and the way our brains are put together, the researchers speculated.” And anchors on MSNBC have a little fun joking about the differences. “But look it’s interesting because we always suspected that liberals do nuance. The findings seem to say that liberals do nuance. And we always suspected that conservatives ran their campaigns run on fear. And this shows the biology of why they do this. It makes sense.” “So Glenn Beck has a massive amygdala.” “A giant, giant amygdala. 'Famine, frogs raining down!' Hey that am didn’t work out too well for him though.” “Didn’t work out too well for him at all.” TIME points out -- this isn’t the first time scientists uncovered biological differences between the two groups. It recalls a study done at the University of Nebraska that found liberals and conservatives had a difference in something called “gaze cues.” "Liberals were more likely than conservatives to follow another person's gaze, suggesting that people who lean right value autonomy more; alternative explanations suggest that liberals might be more empathetic, or that conservatives are less trusting of others.” But a writer for Mediaite isn’t convinced just yet, asking... “...what about people whose politics change over time? Are their brain parts growing, or shrinking? And what if you’re an economically conservative social liberal (or vice versa)? What kind of brain does that person have?” And a blogger for Smart Planet may have answers. “...the findings don’t mean political views are hard-wired into the brain. … The data don’t prove that these neuroanatomical differences actually cause political differences, but he suspects they might play a role.” According to the New York Daily News, the scientists acknowledge there are more categories than just liberal and conservative. Follow Newsy_Videos on Twitter Get more multisource video news analysis from Newsy Transcript by Newsy
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