Conservative amygdalas are concerned.

The Telegraph reports on new brain studies that find a difference between “liberal” brains and “conservative” brains, equating the old-ways-are-best mindset with larger anxiety-processing areas:

Prof Geraint Rees [of University College London], who led the research, said: “We were very surprised to find that there was an area of the brain that we could predict political attitude.

“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.”

Prof Rees and his team, who carried out the research for the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, looked at the brain make up of the Labour MP Stephen Pound and Alan Duncan, the Conservative Minister of State for International Development using a scanner.

They also questioned a further 90 students, who had already been scanned for other studies, about their political views.

Tempting as the paper’s conclusions may be, I don’t think there’s any decisive proof that the watchful amygdala doesn’t get bigger because people think more about threats rather than the other way around. Political views, I think we can all agree, change the way we use our brains all the time.