Dataset Information


Intolerance of uncertainty modulates brain-to-brain synchrony during politically polarized perception.

ABSTRACT: Political partisans see the world through an ideologically biased lens. What drives political polarization? Although it has been posited that polarization arises because of an inability to tolerate uncertainty and a need to hold predictable beliefs about the world, evidence for this hypothesis remains elusive. We examined the relationship between uncertainty tolerance and political polarization using a combination of brain-to-brain synchrony and intersubject representational similarity analysis, which measured committed liberals' and conservatives' (n = 44) subjective interpretation of naturalistic political video material. Shared ideology between participants increased neural synchrony throughout the brain during a polarizing political debate filled with provocative language but not during a neutrally worded news clip on polarized topics or a nonpolitical documentary. During the political debate, neural synchrony in mentalizing and valuation networks was modulated by one's aversion to uncertainty: Uncertainty-intolerant individuals experienced greater brain-to-brain synchrony with politically like-minded peers and lower synchrony with political opponents-an effect observed for liberals and conservatives alike. Moreover, the greater the neural synchrony between committed partisans, the more likely that two individuals formed similar, polarized attitudes about the debate. These results suggest that uncertainty attitudes gate the shared neural processing of political narratives, thereby fueling polarized attitude formation about hot-button issues.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC8157931 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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