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Nat Neurosci. 2007 Oct;10(10):1246-7. Epub 2007 Sep 9.

Neurocognitive correlates of liberalism and conservatism.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, New York University, 6 Washington Place, New York, New York 10003, USA. david.amodio@nyu.edu

Abstract

Political scientists and psychologists have noted that, on average, conservatives show more structured and persistent cognitive styles, whereas liberals are more responsive to informational complexity, ambiguity and novelty. We tested the hypothesis that these profiles relate to differences in general neurocognitive functioning using event-related potentials, and found that greater liberalism was associated with stronger conflict-related anterior cingulate activity, suggesting greater neurocognitive sensitivity to cues for altering a habitual response pattern.

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