Tracking politics in the brain

I find this overview of a study observing that the brains of Democrats and Republicans function differently somewhat confusing. It states:

Comparing the Democrat and Republican participants turned up differences in two brain regions: the right amygdala and the left posterior insula. Republicans showed more activity than Democrats in the right amygdala when making a risky decision. This brain region is important for processing fear, risk and reward.

Meanwhile, Democrats showed more activity in the left posterior insula, a portion of the brain responsible for processing emotions, particularly visceral emotional cues from the body. The particular region of the insula that showed the heightened activity has also been linked with “theory of mind,” or the ability to understand what others might be thinking.

So Republicans process fear better while Democrats process emotions better. Except, isn’t fear an emotion? What is this really telling me?

Frankly, both Republicans and Democrats seemed pretty fear based to me; they just obsess over different fears. They should learn to chillax.

I wonder how long before people start alleging that candidates are stealing elections by broadcasting beams into people’s heads that inhibit or free up the appropriate brain region? 3… 2… 1…

1 Response to “Tracking politics in the brain”


  1. John Saleeby

    The “Dilbert” guy says that the most wealthy and powerful investors use their psychic powers to control the market.