Friday, February 1, 2008

L/C Mind Neural Research

I'm happy to see that some neural research has been done which impacts our L/C mind concept. Although the work and especially the media reports contain certain biases as can be seen from the critique, it at least validates the concept that we are wired with different neural processes. I think the problem is that the study and ones that preceded it do not use a rule that forbids describing the differences in pejorative terms. It doesn't help that they use the terms conservative and liberal label either. With respect -Joel

Here's the website and a brief quote below.;jsessionid=5295E483D9A844426631F547AFEE6E78

Here's the site for a critique of the work.

Neurocognitive correlates of liberalism and conservatism
David M Amodio1, John T Jost1, Sarah L Master2 & Cindy M Yee2

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.
[I added the links in clickable form. Ira, 5 Feb 2008]


Ira Glickstein said...

Thanks Joel for posting a new Topic that is relevant and interesting. I'd like to read the source website before I Comment in detail but it does not look like you have included the link. Please EDIT your posting to include the link. advTHANKSance

Ira Glickstein

joel said...

Thanks Ira. I'm having some trouble with the editor. I put in the site using the site button, but nothing happens. I'll try again, but in the meantime, here are the addresses in text;jsessionid=5295E483D9A844426631F547AFEE6E78

Ira Glickstein said...

Joel: I added the links to your original post in clickable form.

Here they are again:

Here's the website

Here's the site for
a critique of the work.

Sorry for the delay but I was in Pompano Beach.


Ira Glickstein said...

Here are my preliminary comments after reading through your links, Joel:

1) Nature is a very prestigious scientific journal. It speaks well of the subject study that it appeared in Nature.

2) The link to the Nature website provides only a short abstract (the same text you included in your original post). The full text is available for a charge.

3) The link to the critique includes comments by the author of the study as well as of critics and supporters. That is good!

4) The critique includes some highly technical material both about brain science and statistical mathematics, much of it beyond me. That is not good, since I cannot understand the details.

5) It appears the subjects of this study were college students, most of whom were self-described liberals (no big suprise). That plus the fact there were only seven conservatives (so the total must have been less than a couple dozen) casts doubts on the significance of the results.

6) Nevertheless, I do accept that there are significant differences in the thinking styles of liberals and conservatives, so it does not surprise me that the study found such differences in brain responses.

Ira Glickstein