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Neuroscience reveals brain differences between Republicans and Democrats
Univ. of South Carolline via MedicalXpress.com ^ | Nov. 1, 2012 | Jeff Stensland

Posted on 11/03/2012 8:30:57 AM PDT by ConservativeMind

With the U.S. presidential election just days away, new research from the University of South Carolina provides fresh evidence that choosing a candidate may depend more on our biological make-up than a careful analysis of issues.

That's because the brains of self-identified Democrats and Republicans are hard-wired differently and may be naturally inclined to hold varying, if not opposing, perceptions and values. The USC study, which analyzed MRI scans of 24 USC students, builds on existing research in the emerging field of political neuroscience.

"The differences are significant and real," said lead researcher Roger D. Newman-Norlund, an assistant professor of exercise science in the Arnold School of Public Health and the director of USC's new Brain Simulation Laboratory.

The study focused on the mirror neuron system, a network of brain areas linked to a host of social and emotional abilities. After declaring their political affiliation, The subjects were given questionnaires designed to gauge their attitudes on a range of select political issues. Next, they were given "resting state" MRIs which made it possible to analyze the strength of connections within the mirror neuron system in both the left and right hemispheres of their brains; specifically the inferior frontal gyrus, supramarginal gyrus and angular gyrus.

The results found more neural activity in areas believed to be linked with broad social connectedness in Democrats (friends, the world at-large) and more activity in areas linked with tight social connectedness in the Republicans (family, country). In some ways the study confirms a stereotype about members of the two parties—Democrats tend to be more global and Republicans more America-centric—but it actually runs counter to other recent research indicating Democrats enjoyed a virtual lock on caring for others.

"The results were a little surprising," Newman-Norlund said. "This shows the picture is more complicated. One possible explanation for our results is that Democrats and Republicans process social connectedness in a fudamentally different manner."

While political neuroscience and study is still largely in its infancy, the implications for future races could be big as politicians and campaign strategists learn how to exploit brain differences to make more effective, biologically targeted appeals to voters.

The research also suggests that maintaining an open mind about political issues may be easier said than done. In fact, bridging partisan divides and acting contrary to ideological preferences likely requires going against deeply ingrained biological tendencies. And while there is evidence that mirror neuron connections can change over time, it's not something that happens overnight, Newman-Norlund said.

"The (brain) differences could be a result of genetics, experiences, or a combination of both," he said. "It takes a lot of effort to see the other side and we're not going to wake up one day and all start getting along."

Understanding the differences and their origins, however, is a step in the right direction, he said.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: brain; junkscience; neuroscience; science
"In some ways the study confirms a stereotype about members of the two parties—Democrats tend to be more global and Republicans more America-centric—but it actually runs counter to other recent research indicating Democrats enjoyed a virtual lock on caring for others."

Interesting. It appears the eggheads performing these types of studies have no understanding that it is conservative Christians and those who hold truly strong to their faiths are the ones who give the most to charity. And, yes, studies have confirmed this conservative vs. liberal giving, showing liberals give little or none to charity.

So, in reality, conservatives not only are more local-social focused, but also more humanity-social focused with their charity than are liberals. It's just that liberals believe all they need to do is identify what their pet charities are and find ways to instead make others give, as long as it's not themselves.

And for all of this, liberals around the world believe conservatives despise everyone not in their own little area.

1 posted on 11/03/2012 8:31:02 AM PDT by ConservativeMind
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To: ConservativeMind

Democrats look at their situation and think it can only get worse. While Republicans think it can get better.


2 posted on 11/03/2012 8:38:36 AM PDT by Berlin_Freeper (WINNING IS EVERYTHING!)
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To: ConservativeMind; SunkenCiv; blam; no-to-illegals; All

Someone I know was telling me about a neuroscience lecture they attended. Apparently there it was pointed out that the Republican brain was more oriented to tribal rules, whereas the Democrat brain was more oriented toward rational rules. I am just reporting, not judging.


3 posted on 11/03/2012 8:41:00 AM PDT by gleeaikin
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To: 2nd amendment mama

Ping!!


4 posted on 11/03/2012 8:42:21 AM PDT by basil (Second Amendment Sisters.org)
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To: ConservativeMind

You don’t need a scientific study to figure this out. Just some good old fashioned common sense. Democrats are insane; Republicans are sane.


5 posted on 11/03/2012 8:44:00 AM PDT by mosaicwolf (Strength and Honor)
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To: ConservativeMind

This is a pure waste of tax dollars, especially since it has already been proven that Republicans have brains and Democrats do not.


6 posted on 11/03/2012 8:44:32 AM PDT by ConservativeInPA (I advocate indentured servitude for the 47% until the national debt is eliminated.)
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To: ConservativeMind

7 posted on 11/03/2012 8:47:41 AM PDT by 50cal Smokepole (Effective gun control involves effective recoil management.)
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To: ConservativeMind

This is not neuroscience. It is simple anatomy: Republicans have a brain and Democrats do NOT.


8 posted on 11/03/2012 8:48:56 AM PDT by tired&retired
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To: ConservativeMind

Democrats suffer from the effects of toxoplasmosis.


9 posted on 11/03/2012 8:49:34 AM PDT by Bon mots (Abu Ghraib: 47 Times on the front page of the NY Times | Benghazi: 2 Times)
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To: ConservativeMind
Liberals want government to do everything for them, including dispensing their charity. They honestly believe that electing left-wing politicians to distribute other people's wealth are sufficient charitable acts for them to perform.

I've spent the last two days talking to vendors in the areas affected by Sandy. All of them are doing what they can to minimize the disruption of supplies to us, their customers. I have personally assured those who can't meet deliveries at this time that we will be back buying from them as soon as they are operational. One guy lost him home and his vehicles. Some of his customers had already fled, even though his business was still operational. I told him I knew of some orders in the pipeline which I would shift to him to fill some of that capacity.

The company which I worked for during the Kobe, Japan Earthquake back in 1995 did the same thing. Some of the vendors later told us that it made the difference in their decision to soldier on rather than throw in the towel.

This is how conservatives behave: We allocate opportunity. The Liberal solution would be to buy them out and give them a handout to quit and go on the dole.

10 posted on 11/03/2012 8:49:48 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: gleeaikin

A rational mind recognizes both the good and the bad consequences of actions, no matter how well intended.

The Democrat mind does not.

So much for that theory.


11 posted on 11/03/2012 8:50:21 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: ConservativeMind

And does the report also state that former liberals who finally “got it” (about conservatism) are somehow able to change their brain structure and activity? Sorry, I’m not buying this.


12 posted on 11/03/2012 8:58:01 AM PDT by NewJerseyJoe (Rat mantra: "Facts are meaningless! You can use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!")
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To: Bon mots
Democrats suffer from the effects of toxoplasmosis.

There is probably a great deal of truth to that statement. The "cat" transmitted pathogen that causes marked behavioral changes in the host, for those who haven't heard of it.
13 posted on 11/03/2012 8:58:28 AM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: ConservativeMind

It might have been more accurate to give the questionaires first, then do the neuro studies....then ask about the affiliations. Having each test subjest declare their allegiances prior to the questions and the neuro exams pre biases the test. Another words, I declare I’m a conservative and naturally my “declaration” might cause me to answer the test in different way then I might if I was in neutral mode.

If one truly wanted an objective test, having the subjects first declare their political biases may distort the test.


14 posted on 11/03/2012 8:59:37 AM PDT by mdmathis6 (The big problem with dictators is that empowering them always seems like a good idea at the time.)
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To: ConservativeMind

15 posted on 11/03/2012 9:02:51 AM PDT by Diogenesis (Vi veri veniversum vivus vici)
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To: Bon mots
I've speculated that toxoplasma gondii explains Democrat behavior myself. Schizophrenia, suicidal ideation, inability to identify predators, weak withdrawn males and grandiose females. It fits. Most healthy people with an infection never present any medical symptoms at all, other than an initial period of feeling unwell akin to mononucleosis. The immune-impaired are another story, though. Psychiatric symptoms can be present in both, but are particularly prominent among the immune-impaired, to the point of auditory and visual hallucinations.

Wonder what the statistics show, as far as cat ownership with Democrats as opposed to Republicans? I'd suspect a much higher preference for cats among Democrats, being largely urban, and a much higher preference for dogs among Republicans, being largely suburban or rural.

16 posted on 11/03/2012 9:04:29 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: Bon mots

Actually, there is evidence for that, I believe—no joke!


17 posted on 11/03/2012 9:06:08 AM PDT by ConservativeMind ("Humane" = "Don't pen up pets or eat meat, but allow infanticide, abortion, and euthanasia.")
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To: ConservativeMind
It's because the “researchers” are Rats themselves and choose to interpret the data that way.

From reading a few popular works on “neuroscience” its seems to be an attempt to put more scientific “rigor” into psychology. Its basic curriculum generally requires more real math (e.g. calculus), and basic chemistry then the normal “psych” degree.
I applaud the effort in some sense but I don't think it works, particularly well at the undergraduate level. What would you hire a BS in Neuroscience to do? What would you hire a master's level graduate to do? Not everyone is going to get a PhD or even try to get one!
My daughter had some high school pals that jumped into this academic fad. I don't see that they did any better then the old fashioned BS pysch major.
Parents out there in FREEPer Land to me this is another faddish academic trap to get students to go into and end up with no job and gobs of debt! The only people who benefit from this are the Profs ! (I feel the same way about Forensic Science degrees! Fad degrees with very limited hiring prospects made popular by stupid TV cop shows!)

18 posted on 11/03/2012 9:09:32 AM PDT by Reily (l)
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To: ConservativeMind

In some ways, I used to think like a Democrat. But then I grew up. I left Junior High behind.


19 posted on 11/03/2012 9:14:14 AM PDT by DennisR (Look around - God gives countless, indisputable clues that He does, indeed, exist.)
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To: Diogenesis

Now that was a hoot! LOL


20 posted on 11/03/2012 9:15:23 AM PDT by BaylorDad (I can't always buy American, but when I can, it's not UAW!)
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To: gleeaikin

“Republican brain was more oriented to tribal rules”

One can sense the liberal perjoritive in that statement. Tribalism is primitive while universal acceptance with out preconceptions is advanced. Yet all I have to do is to read twitter messages about how many ‘cracka asses are gong to be messed up” if they vote for Romney and it tells me just what sorts of folks are really living by “tribal rules”.

Now certain groups may indeed live by “tribal rules”...Jewish folks are very insular, often times for their own saftey. Strong Christians live by tribal rules, yet Christ has made it easy to join “the tribe”...so easy in fact much of the world choaks on that reality.

These researchers may be getting the “tribalism” thingy all wrong. I think all folks behave tribally, but studies may need to be geared towards how easily “tribes” of liberal or conservative mindsets may allow folks to join their particular groups and what sorts of social burdens are placed on the members in maintaining a continuing relationship with their “tribe”!


21 posted on 11/03/2012 9:16:37 AM PDT by mdmathis6 (The big problem with dictators is that empowering them always seems like a good idea at the time.)
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To: Bon mots

Have you not noticed all the cute kitty threads on FR?

Liberals love humanity—it’s humans they can’t stand.


22 posted on 11/03/2012 9:21:53 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: Bon mots
" toxoplasmosis". No taxoplasmosis
23 posted on 11/03/2012 9:22:24 AM PDT by Calpublican
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To: ConservativeMind


RISE UP AND DONATE!




24 posted on 11/03/2012 9:22:29 AM PDT by Lady Jag (If you can't make them see the light, let them feel the heat. - Reagan)
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To: gleeaikin

LOL gleeaikin. LOL


25 posted on 11/03/2012 9:30:56 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Please God, Protect and Bless Our Men and Women in Uniform with Victory. Amen.)
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To: RegulatorCountry

A rational mind recognizes both the good and the bad consequences of actions, no matter how well intended.
The Democrat mind does not.


Spot on!


26 posted on 11/03/2012 9:34:00 AM PDT by rbg81
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To: ConservativeMind
"... the brains of self-identified Democrats and Republicans are hard-wired differently and may be naturally inclined to hold varying, if not opposing, perceptions and values."

This is such utter hogwash. Simple observation reveals that people change their viewpoints due to life experiences, personal observations, education, etc. throughout their lives.

If our brains were hard-wired in one ideological direction or another, people would rigidly maintain the same viewpoints they were born with. If the findings of this study were true, you wouldn't have any such thing as an ex-liberal Democrat.

I myself am living proof that this study is a bunch of ridiculous pseudo-science.

27 posted on 11/03/2012 9:36:02 AM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Vigilanteman

I believe it has a lot to do with natural selection, Birds of a Feather, genetic attraction.. This results in perpetuation of symptoms, and inbreeding dominance.. Flawed + Flawed= Liberal.. See, simple!

The results are predictable, and self perpetuating.. Easy!

Also one of my theories, has as an example, When confronted with conflect, a Liberal looks for an easy escape route to hide from the problem, and Conservatives look for a path forward to a solution.. HA!


28 posted on 11/03/2012 9:36:12 AM PDT by carlo3b (Less Government, more Fiber..)
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To: mdmathis6
In other Another words,
29 posted on 11/03/2012 9:38:26 AM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Windflier

But isn’t trying to change someone’s political orientation tantamount to a “hate crime” ?


30 posted on 11/03/2012 9:40:36 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: Berlin_Freeper

Wouldn’t such a comparative study have to involve two brains, instead of one brain and an empty petrie dish?


31 posted on 11/03/2012 9:42:32 AM PDT by DPMD
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To: Izzy Dunne
...isn’t trying to change someone’s political orientation tantamount to a “hate crime” ?

I think certain members of my family are still trying to locate the dastardly Republicans who kidnapped and brainwashed me so long ago. They want to have them arrested and prosecuted .. LOL

32 posted on 11/03/2012 9:43:53 AM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: ConservativeMind

Democrats = takers; Republicans = makers
Democrats = glass half empty; Republicans = glass half full

The list could go on and on ...


33 posted on 11/03/2012 9:43:53 AM PDT by RightWingConspirator (Obamanation--the most corrupt regime since Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe)
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To: Berlin_Freeper

Lefties are not human :).


34 posted on 11/03/2012 9:47:27 AM PDT by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (I will fear no muslim))
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To: ConservativeMind

What the ...? Do they really want to go there? Because they are in effect admitting that the brain and its cognitive functions can be affected by genetics-they can’t say it’s possible in one area and not in another. Do they understand that, or will they, as leftists do, ignore that inconvenient fact?


35 posted on 11/03/2012 9:52:11 AM PDT by mrsmel (One Who Can See)
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To: ConservativeMind

Republicans have working brains. Dimwits are brain dead.


36 posted on 11/03/2012 9:56:44 AM PDT by bgill (Evil doers are in every corner of our government. Have we passed the point of no return?)
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To: ConservativeMind

Just as reasonable as believing that the bumps on your skull determine your intelligence and personality.

In seriousness, I would have to say that the main scientist involved in this research has his sun in Virgo 17 degrees square his moon in Scorpio 15 degrees, producing severe lapses in rationality, which is more pronounced with the Sun-Venus conjunction currently taking place in Sagittarius. Not to mention the man’s Pluto problem in Taurus.


37 posted on 11/03/2012 10:05:30 AM PDT by redpoll
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To: Bon mots
I think it's more cranial rectosis.
38 posted on 11/03/2012 10:17:20 AM PDT by uglybiker (nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-BATMAN!)
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To: ConservativeMind
republicans THINK, RATS feel...
39 posted on 11/03/2012 10:22:42 AM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: ConservativeMind

This is similar to research from 2 years ago about a liberal gene.

See: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101027161452.htm


40 posted on 11/03/2012 10:42:59 AM PDT by New Jersey Realist (America: home of the free because of the brave)
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Thanks Vintage Freeper for posting this:

Debt Ceiling Debate in a Nutshell | Creators.com | 07/29/2011 | Chip Bok | Posted on 07/30/2011 12:12:11 PM PDT by Vintage Freeper

41 posted on 11/03/2012 2:29:25 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: gleeaikin

“Pointed out” my ass. It’s just agitprop.


42 posted on 11/03/2012 2:31:22 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: ConservativeMind
It's the difference between those who get emotional when they think about charity and those who act charitably.

My guess: You would see similar differences between children and adults given the same MRI study.

43 posted on 11/03/2012 3:19:08 PM PDT by pierrem15 (Claudius: "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.")
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To: mdmathis6; no-to-illegals; All

“what sort of social burdens are placed on the members...”

This is certainly the case in some Muslim countries where the price of leaving the Muslim “tribe” is death. On the other hand you have certain Christian tribes, I think the Amish, who have their young people go out in the world for a year, and then decide which life they wish to choose. Of course you also have the Jim Jones type of tribe which is as fatal as the worst Muslims. It can be really hard to leave Scientology too.


44 posted on 11/04/2012 12:21:34 AM PDT by gleeaikin
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To: ConservativeMind

That is precisely what i read from his findings ConservativeMind.

The findings were that Conservative tend to think more about their “tight” bonds like family community & country.

Lefties tend to want to think about the global community as a whole including their friends. The real question is if this is so why do leftist like imposing their values upon their so called “friends”, and for that matter why does anyone want to be friends with jerks that impose upon them?

But i suppose they are thinking too high in the sky about the “world” rather than the subsection of the same they can actually effect(insubordinate in the case of lefties).

If you ask me this only means that we can attack the leftist by attacking their flawed perception of what is good for the world and large “lose” relationships. I would put emphases on the need for freedom & autonomy.


45 posted on 11/05/2012 1:36:25 PM PST by Monorprise
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To: Berlin_Freeper

It is worth noting that the sample group consist almost entirely of collage students and thus consist of folks in a period of their lives where their friends are most important to them who are(as a group) also most likely to fall victim to the lies of liberalism having no real experience with the world to know better.


46 posted on 11/05/2012 1:39:42 PM PST by Monorprise
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To: ConservativeMind
If you want to fit in in college, you are probably liberal or progressive in some sense. That’s what the environment demands. If you’re very social in college, you probably have a veneer of liberal attitudes to smooth the way with professors and your peers. But such findings don’t say much about adults and their politics.
47 posted on 11/05/2012 1:58:39 PM PST by x
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