Study: Political Parties Are All In Your Head. Literally

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Let the Sarah Palin jokes begin.

Researchers from the University College London have learned that people with conservative political views generally have larger amygdalas, which are centers of the brain that determine fear and emotion. They also typically have a smaller anterior cingulate, which is associated with courage and optimism.

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The scientists based their research on the brain scans of politicians and a handful of students–they found that the size of these two areas of the brain directly corresponded to the person’s political viewpoints.

(More on TIME.com: Does DNA play into your political view?)

Prof Geraint Rees, who led the research, said,¬†“It is very surprising because it does suggest there is something about political attitude that is encoded in our brain structure through our experience or that there is something in our brain structure that determines or results in political attitude.”

Though one interesting note to the study is that all of the research was conducted on adult brains, making it hard to determine whether the brains were always a certain size or developed through experience. (via the Telegraph)

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