Neuropolitics is the intersection of neuroscience and political science, and it has the interdisciplinary goal of transforming both disciplines. This article reviews the past 20 years of work in the field, identifying its roots, some overarching themes—reactions to political attitudinal questions and candidates faces, identification of political ideology based on brain structure or reactivity to nonpolitical stimuli, and racial attitudes—and obstacles to its progress. I then explore the methodological and analytical advances that point the way forward for the future of neuropolitics. Although the field has been slow to develop compared with neurolaw and neuroeconomics, innovations look ripe for dramatically improving our ability to model political behaviors and attitudes in individuals and predict political choices in mass publics. The coming advancements, however, pose risks to our current norms of democratic deliberation, and academics need to anticipate and mitigate these risks.
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Vol. 36 • No. 2