SEOUL, Nov. 18 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean researchers have answered the question of how people become divided over various issues based on their political sentiment by looking into the brain, revealing that the differences occur in neural networks.
A joint research team from Seoul National University (SNU) Hospital and SNU Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences announced Tuesday that they had confirmed the differences in neural networks by studying the political sentiments and neural networks of 106 adults.
The team first divided the 106 participants by their political sentiments, ranging from progressive to conservative, before looking into how their brains function.
The study revealed that the transmission of messages between brain regions in charge of controlling psychological stress differed by political sentiment.
Participants with conservative political sentiments had stronger connectivity in the brain region in charge of self-control or resilience than the progressives by a factor of five.
In other words, conservatives are psychologically more stable than progressives, the research team explained.
Other foreign studies have shown, using neuroimaging technology to track changes in the brain and the person’s psychological state, that there are differences in brain activity depending on what political sentiment the person has.
The new study, however, marks the first of its kind for studying the functional connectivity of the entire brain.
The study observed brain differences between conservatives and progressives during a resting state, confirming that political sentiment results in different functional network structures in the brain.
The study, however, does not verify the causality or the sequence between political sentiment and brain differences, the research team explained.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)