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A Tale Of Two Brains

Yahoo blogger and former Newsweek-worth-a-dollar White House correspondent Holly Baily reports on a study commissioned by scientist actor Colin Firth where the findings cite differences in the brains of Liberals and Conservatives.  Why do I suspect that the Liberal brain will come off sounding better?

h/t http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Holly writes, “Using data from MRI scans, researchers at the University College London found that self-described liberals have a larger anterior cingulate cortex–a gray matter of the brain associated with understanding complexity. Meanwhile, self-described conservatives are more likely to have a larger amygdala, an almond-shaped area that is associated with fear and anxiety.”

One might think a Conservative will cling to their guns and their bibles.

Funny thing on the way to Holly’s links.  When you follow her links, the words “understand” and “complex” are nowhere to be found.  Sorry, I wasn’t going to pay $31.50 to read the full article from Science Direct.  In one of her links, Conservatives were said to be “sensitive to threat or anxiety in the face of uncertainty”.  Sounds a little different than “associated with fear and anxiety”, or is it just me?

I guess if we’re going to spin things, we could look up the Liberal’s Anterior Cingulate Cortex and find that “neuroimaging studies have also identified the ACC’s involvement in transient mood changes, depression and anxiety disorders”.  At least I wouldn’t have to add words that aren’t in the article.

When we look into the larger Amygdala in Conservatives, we can find a Boston study that indicates that those with larger Amygdala are “social butterflies” and “live in larger and more complex groups”.

“The study examined 58 adults, between 19 and 83 years of age, using brain scanners and a survey that measured participants’ social networks. Researchers found the size of other brain regions was not correlated with the size of the social network.”

Thanks Holly for your article; we’re sure you didn’t mean to introduce any subjective bias into the objective science.

And thanks to commenter Benjamin for this old joke:

A Cannibal goes to the butcher.  He sees lawyer brains @ 8.99/lb, doctors brains @ 10.59/lb and politicians brains @ 39.50/lb. He asks, “Why so high for politician’s brains?”

Butcher replies,  “Do you know how many politicians have to die to get a pound of brains?”

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2011 in Conservative, Democrat, Liberals, Republican

 

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