BOOK: Neuroscience of Personality – Principles of the Psyche as a Living System – Dario Nardi, PhD, UCLA
Neuroscience studies the structure & function of the nervous system – mainly the brain. Imaging techniques (PET, MEG & SPECT scans, fMRI…) have made it possible to match neurological data points with cognitive theories about how the normal brain works.
PERSONALITY is the result of certain brain areas being dominant. Non-dominant thinking patterns need more stimulus – than dominant ones – to be activated, because neurons that ‘fire together wire together’.
▪︎ there are activity circuits that cause rapid responses ⬇️, & the engagement curve can be tracked (see below)
▪︎ each region has a threshold for activation, but there are also whole-brain patterns
▪︎ it’s neuro-plastic, so can change or adapt to new experiences (needs over 10,000 times of practice) “Experience Changes Brain Plasticity“
▪︎ certain structures use more energy than others, such as the Pre-Frontal Cortex (PFC: decisions, prioritizing, problem-solving), which needs a great deal of fuel
▪︎ the more developed the brain is, the more efficiently it uses energy
EXP: Info taken out of working memory (on to physical notes, idea boards….) frees up energy to solve a problem
Professor Dario Nardi’s brain-mapping research has provided empirical evidence supporting Jung’s observational theory. Identifying modular & holistic characteristics of the brain suggests there are certain kinds of activity associated with psychological types.
He wrote : “The science is in! Each of the 8 Jungian cognitive processes (E-I, S-N, T-F, P-J) corresponds to a pattern of electrical activity that unites brain, mind, culture & context into a comprehensive model.”
His work only deals with the 6 lobes of the CEREBRAL CORTEX, which handle attention, awareness, consciousness, language, memory, perception & thought. And – the prefrontal-cortex manages the whole brain.
Nardi’s research is done using an EEG* head cap or band, on volunteers of different MBTI types while they perform a variety of tasks that represent many daily activities – to measure neocortical activity along the scalp at 16 points of attachment. This has provided similarities & differences between the various Types.
* EEG (electro-encephalogram) records spontaneous electrical activity along the scalp produced by neurons firing in the outer layer of the brain, the neocortex. Although EEG can’t reach the middle or deep layers of the brain directly, those deeper cognitive functions can still be detected by the activity on the surface.
THRESHOLD to ACTIVATION ➡️
• Individuality: Each brain region requires a different amount of stimulation to light up ⬇️
• 🔵 Low threshold: A medium amount of stimulus shows up as light colored regions,
⚫️ but a little stimulus has no effect
• 🔴 High threshold: Brain activity increases with more stimulation, & a lot of it creates a strong, possibly overwhelming neural response
▪︎ Engaged = competent &/or motivated
• Activities evoke progressively more brain activity as challenge & motivation increase
▪︎ Unfamiliar/unimportant tasks = no activity
TASKS: Sign your name, sign it backwards with each hand – for $, sign it in Urdu.
Looking at the neurological scans, one possibility for the differences is that Introverts are still THINKING even when nothing’s going on externally
In contrast, Extroverts seem to go IDLE without any external input/stimulus
▪︎ Randomly selected MBTI Types only shared 5-33% similar brain activity
▪︎ With same Personality Types, only HALF shared 70-80% of brain regions, the other half lean toward 50% similarity
▪︎ 20% were Atypical for their type (Annholm.net)
EXP: Of all the Types, ENFPs’ brain activity (by region) are most similar to each other
🌹OVERLAY list of brain lobes ⬆️ to see correlating with scalp points ⬇️.
The 8 neuro-patterns go smoothly with the 8 Jungian processes underlying the 16 MBTI types.
The categories on this map are based on information in neuroscience textbooks & hundreds of diverse published research papers.
NEXT: Nardi – brain activity #2