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Last updated at 13:14 GMT, Friday, 14 January 2011

Brains and politics

Rosettes for UK Liberal Democrats, Labour and Conservative parties

Scientists believe the structure of our brains can affect our political views

Alice and Rob talk about the structure of the brain and how it could be related to our political beliefs.

This week's question:

Which of these isn’t a part of the brain?

a) corpus callosum

b) tomatosensory cortex

c) pons

Listen out for the answer in the programme.


Brains and politics

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political beliefs

your opinions on how governments should run the world


here, photographed by a machine which can show images of people's brains


having political ideas which are close to socialism


tolerant of different beliefs or behaviours


having political ideas which support conservatism and capitalism


likes to preserve traditional ideas, and resists changes or new ideas


here, unmovable in opinion

MRI scans

a machine which can photograph people's brains (MRI, magnetic resonance imaging)


explanation or theory which has not yet proved to be correct

grey matter

type of matter which forms part of the brain


cells in the human nervous system which conduct messages to and from the brain

nerve cells

cells which, together, form human nerves



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