The ‘Primitive’ Conservative Right Wing Brain


Tory voters found to have larger ‘primitive’ lobe in brain

Our political allegiances could be hard-wired into our brains, neuroscientists believe.

Researchers have found evidence that the brains of conservatives are a different shape to those of Left-wingers.

Scans of 90 students’ brains at University College London uncovered a ‘strong correlation’ between the thickness of two particular areas of grey matter and an individual’s political views.

David Cameron and Nick CleggBrain buddies? Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron (right) is more likely to have a thicker amygdala while Liberal Nick Clegg could be expected to have a larger anterior cingulates

Self-proclaimed right-wingers had a more pronounced amygdala – a primitive part of the brain associated with emotion.

It is an almond-shape set of neurons located deep in the brain’s medial temporal lobe.

However, those aligned to the left had thicker anterior cingulates – which is an area associated with anticipation and decision-making.

The research was carried out by Geraint Rees director of the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience who said he was ‘very surprised’ by the finding, which is being peer reviewed before publication next year.

It was commissioned as a light-hearted experiment by actor Colin Firth as part of his turn guest editing BBC Radio 4‘s Today programme but has now developed into a serious effort to discover whether we are programmed with a particular political view.

An MRI scan of the brain. The right amygdala - an ancient part of the brain - was larger in those people who described themselves as conservativeAn MRI scan of the brain. The right amygdala – an ancient part of the brain – was larger in those people who described themselves as conservative. It’s located where the yellow area meets the red in the centre of the picture

Professor Rees said that although it was not precise enough to be able to predict someone’s stance simply from a scan, there was ‘a strong correlation that reaches all our scientific tests of significance’.

‘The anterior cingulate is a part of the brain that is on the middle surface of the brain at the front and we found that the thickness of the grey matter, where the nerve cells of neurons are, was thicker the more people described themselves as liberal or left wing and thinner the more they described themselves as conservative or right wing,’ he told the programme.

‘The amygdala is a part of the brain which is very old and very ancient and thought to be very primitive and to do with the detection of emotions. The right amygdala was larger in those people who described themselves as conservative.

Colin Firth commissioned the study as a light-hearted experiment but that has now developed into something more seriousColin Firth commissioned the study as a light-hearted experiment but that has now developed into something more serious

‘It is very significant because it does suggest there is something about political attitudes that are either encoded in our brain structure through our experience or that our brain structure in some way determines or results in our political attitudes.’

Mr Firth – who recently declared he had ended public support for the Liberal Democrats – said he would like to have party leader and now Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg subjected to the tests.

‘I think we should have him scanned,’ he said.

He said the coalition made him ‘extremely uneasy’ but would not rule out voting Lib Dem in future.

‘I would have to see what identity they took on because I don’t recognise them at the moment. I think all three parties are in a state of re-evaluation.’

Talking about the experiment, he said: ‘I took this on as a fairly frivolous exercise: I just decided to find out what was biologically wrong with people who don’t agree with me and see what scientists had to say about it and they actually came up with something.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1342239/Brain-study-reveals-right-wing-conservatives-larger-primitive-amygdala.html#ixzz1qDdxqUtp

Andrew Breitbart’s Children: The Dickening


Andrew Breitbart’s Children: The Dickening

         By: TBogg

NYU Journalism professor Charles Seife has a terrific post up ( a shorter version of which can be found at The Hunting of the Snark) regarding Breitbart orphan and future subject of an SVU episode James O’Keefe, wherein Young Master James attempts his special brand of “veritas” after being exposed for being not very veritas-y in his dealings with the public.

Journalists are stubborn creatures by nature. I’m no different. Deny me information that I’m entitled to, and I won’t let go. It doesn’t matter if you’re a nonprofit organization or an Obama-administration government agency, I’ll fight. So I took the next logical step to put pressure on Project Veritas — I filed a complaint with the IRS, telling them that Project Veritas wasn’t playing by the disclosure rules. Either that, or Project Veritas wasn’t really a nonprofit.

That got them talking. I called that morning to tell them that I had filed a complaint, and the woman I got on the phone was, surprisingly, quite cooperative. I put my request in writing, and after a string of e-mails, she admitted that application for nonprofit status had been filed, but it had not yet been approved. Contrary to what the website said, Project Veritas was not a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and donations were, as a result, not tax-deductible. James O’Keefe had apparently committed an illegal act that could have caused donors unwittingly to make false claims on their taxes.

I finally had my answer. James O’Keefe was apparently breaking the law. So did I contact my friends in the liberal elite press establishment to try to make it a huge story? I could have gone to Romenesko, or sent it to my colleagues on major papers around the country. But I didn’t….

Needless to say, zany hijinks ensue and, like most episodes in James shoddy life, it ends in shame and ridicule and humiliation with James Edward O’Keefe III once again left standing there with just his dick in his hand.