April 8, 2011


In a study led by New York University psychology professor, Dr. David Amodio and published in the September 2007 edition of the Nature.com’s online journal, Nature Neuroscience, researchers considered the observation that political conservatives tended to be stuck in structured, persistent cognitive styles, while political liberals displayed greater ability to respond to complexity, ambiguity and novelty. The study found that greater liberalism was associated with heightened cognitive sensitivity to cues for altering habitual responses.

Then in the December 2010 edition of the same online journal, in a study led by Dr. Kevin Bickart of the Boston University School of Medicine, researchers found that amygdala volume correlated with the size and complexity of human social networks. Those with greater amygdala size had more friends, associated with people of more diverse background, and made social contacts more easily and more often.

On Thursday Cognitive neuroscientist Ryota Kanai of the University College London, in the journal Current Biology [membership restricted] and reported in The National Journal, published the results of another study; This one seemingly corroborating Dr. Amodio’s 2007 work.

“[P]olitical conservatives tend to have a larger right amygdala, a region involved in detecting threats and responding to fearful stimuli, whereas liberals tend to have a larger anterior cingulate cortex, an area that becomes active in situations involving conflict or uncertainty.”



Old NFO said...

Very Interesting... :-) Thanks for the info and links.

Ambulance Driver said...

I knew you could post on those two studies more intelligently than I ever could. ;)

Mule Breath said...

Why do yo think that is, AD? Are you perhaps stuck in a structured, persistent cognitive style, while I perhaps have a somewhat greater ability to respond to complexity, ambiguity and novelty?

Inquiring minds... etc... etc.