Brains, Actually

While acting isn’t exactly brain surgery, Oscar winner Colin Firth can now add “brain researcher” to his resume. BBC News reports that The King’s Speech actor recently urged scientists to explore how political views are reflected in a person’s brain structure. Researchers went on to scan the brains of liberal and conservative politicians and found that there are differences. Liberals tend to have larger anterior cingulate cortexes, while conservatives have larger amygdalas. The researchers note that these structural differences are consistent with traits commonly associated with liberals (openness to new experiences) and conservatives (ability to recognize to threats).

For his troubles, Firth received an author credit when the results of the study were published in Current Biology.

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Human Journey

Alyson Foster works in the National Geographic Library where she purchases books for the Library’s collection and assists NG staff with finding research materials.