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Liberals vs. Conservatives: Dueling Brains

The more we exercise an area of our brain, the more neural pathways we grow which increases the thickness of the gray matter.  It’s almost like building muscles;  the more you use a muscle the more it becomes the one that you lean on often.  In recent studies done at the University College of London, fMRI results showed the cortex (gray matter) was thicker (more exercised) around the ACC in liberals.  This is the area that is the gateway to using the prefrontal cortex for executive decision making, creative problem solving, empathy, joy, etc.  The ACC also negotiates conflicting information to evaluate and decide which piece of information is relevant in the moment.  The cortex was thicker around the amygdala in conservatives.  This is the area of the brain involved in fight-or-flight, fear, threat detection, and emotional charge.  Neuroscientists are now showing that personality traits and political views can be mapped to certain brain structures and patterns.  Which cortex are you exercising today?


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