Brain Study Shows Republicans & Democrats CAN'T Think Alike

Say What!? 17

brain scan Republicans and Democrats, Democrats and Republicans. Sometimes people's political beliefs are so drastically dissimilar, you'd swear their brains were wired differently or something! Of course that's silly, we're all people and we all ... what? Oh. Never mind. Hey, guess what? Recent research shows there actually may be a connection between politics and the human brain -- and that the "neural maps" of Republicans do in fact differ from those of Democrats. Interesting.

This new info was released as an update to the President Obama-endorsed "Brain Activity Map Project," a program of brain study which, if successful, is expected to "bring the same level of benefits to health and science research as the human genome project did for genetic research."

Wow! This is pretty cool stuff. Seriously. Considering the brain is still relatively uncharted territory, scientifcally -- the old "we only use 10% of our brains" belief has been disproved, but experts still aren't entirely sure how we use the other 90%. So a federally-funded effort to finally figure out what's going on in our heads could have tremendous impact.

Anyway. How exactly do politics manifest in the brain? Researchers said:

“Brain-processed risk worked differently between the groups, with Republicans showing more activity in an area linked with reward, fear and risky decisions and Democrats showing more activity in a spot related to processing emotion and internal body cues.”

Interpret that however you like, depending on which category you fall into.

Are you surprised to learn that Republicans & Democrats really do think differently?


Image via Patrick Denker/Flickr

medical tests, politics, barack obama


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tuffy... tuffymama

Hasn't it been proven that the most leftist are mentally ill?

cleig... cleigh717

No I'm not surprised. Ppl r just wired differently. In order for there to be balance in the universe we must have opposing forces that seem opposite but r really just complementary to each other.

@tuffymama what is wrong with u?

tuffy... tuffymama

Lol. Nothing. I remember there was a big hubbub concerning the release of a study on people who identifies politically as right or left. You never saw it?

tuffy... tuffymama


PonyC... PonyChaser

I remember that study, Tuffy... and everyone on this board declared that it was the R's who weren't "as smart" as the D's. I wonder why?

Anyway, this doesn't surprise me. People are left-brained or right-brained. Some of us are lucky enough to be rather center-brained. So why would it be a surprise that political preference falls on one side of the brain or on the other.

ToolA... ToolArmy066

Why is he going to fund billions of dollars for this right now while our country is in so much debt?

nonmember avatar American Expat

Haha the Soviet Union also considered liberalism a mental disorder, gave them electroshock therapy to try and cure them. Funny republicans on here feel the same.

work4... work4mickey

Doesn't suprise me at all. I can understand both relatively well but am well aware that they can't speak the same language. The same terms mean different things. Interstingly, republicans are more likely to use terms consistently (& more in line with a dictionary definition) while for liberals terms often mean what they want them to mean. For instance, liberals constantly accuse republicans of refusing to "compromise" if they don't agree to whatever demands the left puts forth. Even though republicans may sugest this concession for that one, or offer multiple options, and the left will say no, but accuses the republicans of being the party of "no."

srich... srichtermom

I don't think there is a direct link between political preferences and the brain, but there is a link between the brain and personality types, which could lead to certain political preferences.  I'm more concerned with how much money is being spent on research projects such as these when kids are attending schools that are underfunded, understaffed and underperforming.

EmmaF... EmmaFromEire

You do realise science funding isn't just one big piss pot of money? Obama has put a lot toward the human genome project, which generates your country an awful lot of money. This particular study to understand human emotion an how it actually relates to your life is part of that. Think before you comment.

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