MRI study may connect politics with the brain

Thanks to a recent study using MRI, researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) may have found that political ideology may stem from the structure of the brain, according to an article by The Daily Nebraskan.  

The study was conducted by a team of two former UNL students under the guidance Ingrid Haas, PhD, UNL assistant professor of political science.  

Haas and her team used an MRI machine at UNL’s Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior to monitor the brains of 58 UNL students and residents of Lincoln, Nebraska. All the participants were then asked to analyze and evaluate policies and positions to hypothetical political candidates and were pressed to determine if different candidates, while shown their photos, were either good or bad.  

“We were interested in the possibility that there would be brain differences between liberals and conservatives, based on prior research showing both structural and functional brain differences associated with political ideology,” Haas said.  

See the entire study and article for more information and findings.