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