The Influence of Political Orientation in Brain Function

One of our more popular posts of the last month, has surprisingly been this short little blurb on the influence of pronouns in brain function. To extend that, there’s new research that shows neurons of liberals and conservatives, react differently when confronted with tough choices, suggesting that political orientation may be hard-wired.

The study has been published in Nature Neuroscience, David Amodio co-authoredElectroencephalogram, “Meeting of minds: the medial frontal cortex and social cognition.”

He and his more colleagued used electroencephalographs, a type of visualization biomedical tool that measures neuronal impulses… or in other words brain activity, to examined activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, a region strongly linked with the self-regulatory process of conflict monitoring. What they found was pretty remarkable, for example,

“respondents who had described themselves as liberals showed “significantly greater conflict-related neural activity” when the hypothetical situation called for an unscheduled break in routine…. Conservatives, however, were less flexible, refusing to deviate from old habits “despite signals that this … should be changed.”

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