Thursday, December 30, 2010

Don't Hate Conservatives, Their Brains Just Don't Work Right

Actually their brains do work right, sort of.  A study by University College London has found the brains of conservatives are quite different from those of liberals.

Scientists have found that people with conservative views have brains with larger amygdalas, almond shaped areas in the centre of the brain often associated with anxiety and emotions.

On the otherhand, they have a smaller anterior cingulate, an area at the front of the brain associated with courage and looking on the bright side of life.

The "  exciting"  correlation was found by scientists at University College London who scanned the brains of two members of parliament and a number of students.

They found that the size of the two areas of the brain directly related to the political views of the volunteers. 

So let's stop getting so angry at cons.  It's not their fault their amygdalas, their fear receptors, are so damned big.  They're born cowards.  And it's not our fault either that they also got dealt a puny anterior cingulate, the courage generator.  It's no wonder with brains wired for a surplus of fear and a deficiency of courage that these people flock to a thug like Stephen Harper.  They're his for the plucking.  It's not their fault, they were born that way.

According to, conservatives are reacting to the study quite predictably - by claiming that evidence of their enlarged amygdalas (the fear centre) is proof of their mental superiority, conveniently ignoring the matter of their shrunken anterior cingulate cortex (the bravery centre).

Predictably, conservatives have jumped on both studies as an indication of their biological superiority. Across the right-leaning blogosphere and twitterverse, DRD4 was cited as the underlying cause of the "mental illness" known as liberalism; and some conservative tweeters have even tried to claim that the enlarged amygdala just means that conservatives "have bigger brains." Of course, the first claim begs the question, and the second ignores the shrunken anterior cingulate.

While the extent of the differences is still unclear, the biology of politics has begun to confirm that those differences are real.


Beijing York said...

The ability to look at the bright side of life is also lacking. That would explain Harper's strained smile.

The Mound of Sound said...

Curious you should mention that, BY. The anterior cingulate cortex is also associated with optimism as well as bravery.