MBTI – Introvert vs Extrovert ANATOMY (Part 1)

PREVIOUS: Brains #3

SITEs: Surprising things re our BRAIN 

Studies show that the average distribution of extrovert factors varies around the world, such as : people from Europe & the US score higher as Es than people from Asia

Es = Extroverts   //  Is = Introverts

1. NERVOUS SYSTEM (NS): The 2 branches produce the body’s involuntary functions – what’s normally not under our conscious control (circulation, breathing, temperature control, digestion).

a. Sympathetic NS response (Dopamine) = Fight or flight. It produces a thora-columbar outflow, from neurons starting in the thoracic & cervical areas of the spinal cord, mobilizing physical activities needed to deal with stress, potential /imagined threat, or actual /imminent danger (increased energy & cardiac output, dilating bronchial passages….)

b. Parasympathetic NS (Acetylcholine) = Rest & digest. It produces a ’cranio-sacral’ outflow from neurons starting in the cranial & sacral areas of the spinal cord – responsible for the body’s ability to recuperate & return to a balanced state (homeostasis – conserves energy, increases intestinal & glandular activity)

Reminder: The RAS (reticular activating system) is at the top of the spinal cord – in the brain stem – essential to our alert conscious state. It determines our general level of arousal – where someone falls on the extroversion-introversion continuum. Broadly, the RAS in Is has a higher alert setting, making them much more aroused to start with, so need less input from the outside than Es.

👩🏽 🧓🏼 2. FACES
Event-related potentials
(ERPs) are very small voltages generated from all brain structures in response to specific sensory, mental or motor events. (MORE…..)

Brain Fingerprinting is a new computer-based way to measure electrical brain waves reacting to words, phrases & pictures. It uses EEGs to identify the ERP known as P30o (P3) , a non-invasive way of evaluating brain functioning. This specific waveform is considered an indicator of human attention, i.e. how fast the brain notices that something has changed. It’s a reaction to decision-making, when doing certain tasks or by a sudden change in the environment.
(by Dr. Lawrence Farwell)

A recent study was designed to see if Es are more sensitive than Is to stimuli in social situations (faces). Electrodes covering the parietal lobe of 28 subjects scanned for P3 waves.
Subjects were shown a series of male faces, & then every so often a female face. They were also shown pictures of purple flowers interspersed with yellow ones.

Those who had previously scored high for extroversion showed a greater P3 response to human faces, but no correlating reaction to flowers. It suggests that faces, & people in general, have more meaning to Es, which encourages them to be more interested in socializing.
Conversely, Introverts – shown the same series of images – had about the same level of P3 responses to both faces & flowers, suggesting their brains treat interactions with people about the same as encounters with inanimate objects.

Another study focused on how the brain reacts to happy faces.
Research has shown that the amygdala ‘lights up’ in response to socially & emotionally meaningful images, & consistently so in reaction to fearful faces – compared to neutral ones. But amygdala results in people looking at pleasant / happy faces was inconsistent.
To account for that, Stanford scientists started by testing subjects on the Big 5 O.C.E.A.N. traits, specifically for Extroversion & Neuroticism, & then showed student volunteers pictures of fearful & happy faces, using brain scans.
FYI: Right amygdala generates ‘negative’ emotions like fear & sadness.
amygdala can create both pleasant emotions, like happiness – & unpleasant ones.
• The amygdala in people with high extroversion scores “turned on” more to happy facial expressions, & more so than to all the other ‘Big 5’ traits, but not significantly to other expressions, such as fear, sadness or anger.
It indicates why more-outgoing people find social situations pleasurable.

• Volunteers with test scores slanted towards Neuroticism (tendency to anxiety, worry or insecurity) had no significant amygdala reactions to any of the emotional expressions. This suggest why up-beat interactions are neutral or unfulfilling for Is – but not WHY some amygdalas under-react.

Reminder: Is are by definition not neurotic, but because of their normal inward-focus, when they are ‘wounded’, some are said to suffer from ‘extreme introversion’ (severe shyness or social phobia) – debilitating conditions preventing them from forming meaningful relationships.

NEXT: E vs I Anatomy #2


MBTI: E vs. I Brains – OVERVIEW


PREVIOUS: E vs I brains #3

SITE: ‘The Brain that changes itself” – Norman Daidge, M.D.


See SAME CHART from another source










Introverts & Extroverts have different levels of arousalmeaning the extent to which our minds & bodies are alert & responsive to stimulation

Es have a lower basic rate of arousal. They need to work harder to be up to the same ‘normal’ state that Is might reach quite easily, because Is‘ rate of arousal is much higher.

Hedonic tone ⬆️ is the degree of pleasantness or unpleasantness associated with a given subject, state or circumstance. Also known as positive or negative valence.


MBTI – Introvert vs Extrovert BRAINS (Part 2)


PREVIOUS: E vs I brains #1

SITE: Surprising Brain facts

Es = Extroverts   //   Is = Introverts

FACTORS re. biological differences between Introverted & Extroverted brains (cont.)

Blood in the brains of Es & Is travel on different pathways in response to a wide variety of stimulation. Each style uses a completely different neurotransmitter, which take a different amount of stops in the brain along the way to processing ideas, info, experiences, interactions….. These chemicals direct where the blood goes, & regulate how much of it flows to various centers, influencing what parts of the Central Nervous System (CNS) are turned ON.
✳ Extroversion is linked with energy-spending dopamine/ adrenaline, while Introversion is linked with energy-preserving acetylcholine.

Energizing: Dopamine (D) is the ‘activating’ transmitter which produces good feelings that come from social interaction, physical activities & passion. The D-system affects how we learn & respond to novelty. Setting off an external response, it motivates us to go after situations that are rewarding.

The amygdala & nucleus accumbens (which encode new motor skills) are important components of the brain’s D-reward response, responsible for processing emotional stimuli, & giving Es a rush when trying something highly exciting. And D’s sidekick Adrenalin makes more D when released from the sympathetic nervous system, needed for fight or flight reactions when we’re faced with real or assumed danger.

Calming: Acetylcholine (A) is the ‘inhibiting’ transmitter that also helps us feel good, but as a relaxing influence. When set off, it activates the parasympathetic nervous system, along with  the hypothalamus, providing an internal response that lets us slow down, to maintain or safeguard energy. A is like D’s alter ego, creating a sense of satisfaction & contentment, & plays a role in dreaming & imagination.

Acetylcholine fuels our ability to think deeply, reflect & focus for long periods of time on one thing. It rewards mental concentration by giving hits of ‘happiness’ – but not the charge of glucose & oxygen needed for physical energy.

Extroverts & D: Research has shown that Es have more Dopamine receptors in their brains (than Is), so they need much more of it to fill all those ‘slots’. More activity means producing more D, with then pushes Es to continue social interaction, activity & excitement.

Interesting: People born with a longer D-receptor gene are more likely to become thrill-seekers & adrenaline junkies – if stressed for too long.

Introverts & D: Is have fewer receptors in the brain (than Es) in the same area that generates D, the substantia nigraso they need a very specific limited level of dopamine, but a greater amount of acetylcholine – to be comfortable. A normal amount for Es will easily be too much for Is – which can eventually lead to agitation, depression, or mental illness if Is don’t get enough stress-relief

Both styles respond to incoming info from our activities registered in the spinal column (CNS).
From there, the I’s brain-path access memories or information. Es brain-path accesses mainly sensory info.

• For Es, when activities stimulate their brain, it trigger a Dopamine-response. The pathway makes a 5-stop circuit (shorter & less complicated) which runs through areas where taste, touch, visual & auditory sensory processing take place. (D-functions….)

#2. Data from the RAS goes to the Hypothalamus (thirst/ appetite / temp) switching on the ‘Full Throttle’ system
#3. is a relay station amplifying the stimuli
#4. is the emotional center – & for Es
is associated with actions, the motor area being lit up
#5. connects movements to—> short-term memory access, to—> the center for learning, as well as processing sensory & emotional stimuli

• For Is, activities trigger Acetylcholine, needed to balance out any potential or actual overwhelm. It makes a 7-stop loop traveling through areas of the brain dealing with info, meaning, planning, remembering & problem solving. This uses 40% more energy than the extrovert-dopamine circuit. (A-functions….)

#1. Stimuli enter the RAS at the top of the brain stem –  less active in
#2. data is interpreted & the brain placed in ‘Throttle down’ mode
#3. is the relay station turning sensory signals down
#4. where speech & activates self-talk is planned
#5. selects, plans & chooses ideas or actions. Forms expectations & evaluates outcomes
#6. is for environmental awareness & info sent to long-term memory
#7. the emotional center where feelings are attached to thoughts

⬅ In high activity situations, the 2 styles are opposite because different brain areas are activated. NEXT: E & I body parts

MBTI – Introvert vs. Extrovert BRAINS (Part 1)

PREVIOUS: E vs I brains #1

SITEBRAIN BASICS: Know your brain
NeuroScupting – to relieve anxiety
• Lisa Wimberger Explains Neurosculpting

Es = Extroverts  // Is = Introverts

FACTORS: As already indicated in previous posts, no one is totally one extreme of the other.
However, there are very real biological differences between the brains of Introverted & Extroverted people. Advances in neuro-chemical research show they are more than just psychologists’ observations, but rather rooted in science. Several physiological components contribute to the overall variants.

1. The ARFS : In 1967 Hans Eysenck suggested that the disparity depends on our Ascending Reticular Formation System (ARFS) at the top of the brain stem. It connects the major nerves of the spinal column to the brain – sorting out millions of stimuli coming in every second – letting in the vital ones through, to alert the processing mind.

It’s purpose is to insure the brain receives an optimal amount of stimulation to be happy – at all times. We regulate that system by socializing. Too little & we’re bored, too much & we’re overwhelmed. Is already have a fairly high level of brain-stimulation, so it doesn’t take as much external activity to be satisfied. Es start out with a lower level of stimulation, so need a lot more social interaction to feel good.

So, behavioral differences between Es & Is are due to predispositions in cortical arousal – the speed & amount of the brain’s activity. External circumstances together with these predispositions determine how a person responds to their experiences.

In Es the ARFS is ‘tight’, (Low arousal) making them less reactive to events, making them crave more input. (More….)
For Is the ARFS is wide open & so processes more incoming info per second (High arousal). Their risk is getting too much input, which drains them. EXP: Is are more likely to have ADHD because of a higher sedation threshold. 

Interesting: Some consider the ARFS the gateway to consciousness – an awareness of Self & one’s environment. If we mentally form a clear intention about something we want (specific goal, dream, need….), it is automatically programmed to filter for it!  BUT, damage to it from long-term over-stimulation (constant trauma) causes PTSD.

2. BRAIN QUADRANTS: The specialization differences between Front (Cerebral mode) & Back (Limbic mode) is much more pronounced than the differences between the Left & Right. Most of the areas that initiate action & speech are in the front, while the back gathers & processes data. (More def…) (4 Types def…)

Left & Right quads control different aspects of thought & action:
L1 = Working memory. Rational Self: analytical, defining, factual, prioritizing
L2 = Participation. Safekeeping self: experiencing, detailed, maintaining, organized, structural

R1 = Assimilation. Experimental self: conceptual, envisioning, interpreting, strategic & unorthodox
R2 = Motivation. Feeling self: harmonizing, interpersonal, relating, sensitive, social.

3. BLOOD FLOW – Front vs Back
Blood flow to any area of the body indicates its activation. A 1999 study focused on the differences between Es & Is, done by carefully measuring the cerebral blood flow in both groups, using PET scans. It found that:

• Introverts have more blood flow to their frontal lobes & anterior thalamus – causing more neuronal activity – than Es – the front of their brain highly stimulated by solitary activities – encouraging an inward focus.
Also, their premotor cortex absorbs external stimuli more quickly – more info coming in faster can flood the brain if not regularly processed. This may explain why Is need more private reflection-time, to analyze ideas & think things through.

• Extroverts get more blood flow to their temporal lobes, posterior (rear) thalamus & anterior (front) cingulate gyrus – mainly back of brain areas involved with interpreting sensory data, giving them an outward focus.

Interesting: A 2012 study of the prefrontal cortex (Fp), a highly complex brain region associated with abstract thought & decision-making, found that:
• People who identify as Is tend to have larger & thicker gray matter in certain areas
of the Fp, possibly because they devote more neural resources to abstract pondering.
• Es tend to have thinner gray matter in those same Fp areas, perhaps because they prefer to live in the moment (so they exercise other parts of the brain more).

NOTE: This is NOT a measure of intelligence but rather an indication of usage. Like our muscles, the more a body part is used the bigger it gets.

NEXT: E & I brains #2

ACoAs: PATIENCE vs Co-dependent Waiting (Part 3)

Co-dep vs Patience #2

POST:  S & I: Healthy….(Part 3) Process, point #3.


Real patience :
is based on selfTRUST, an aspect of the True Self , rather than trusting others – too little or too much. This trust is the result of taking care of our needs & knowing what our destiny/ bliss/ passion’ is. It’s being willing to keep working toward them no matter how long it takes or how hard the path is to get there, believing we can last out the tough times.  This minimizes or eliminates envy & jealousy – because we have the right & power to provide for ourselves, so that needing to be Patient is not so frustrating

• requires a decent handle on boundaries, having learned what’s ‘my stuff’ vs. what’s yours – which can only come from knowing oneself well (inventories, Meetings, therapy, dreams, healthy adult mirroring….). Then patience is waiting to see what others can or are willing to do for themselves

• is working toward appropriate (do-able) goals, step by step, knowing it takes time to accomplish something worthwhile, knowing that some things take longer than others. (College was 4 yrs, meeting husband-to-be took going to singles dances for 7 yrs, Recovery – ongoing for the last 40 yrs!)

Real patience :
• comes from using our intuition, intelligence & experience to know when to “hold ’em & when to fold ’em” – letting things develop naturally
— Sometimes we just need to wait for a better (human) time, for a more appropriate location or person, for more emotional healing, for H.P.’s timing
— Sometimes we need to admit when something we want is not healthy, & let go of the original desire/demand, OR know when something is simply not possible – the way we want it – & then look for alternatives or change the goal

• is having realistic expectations – knowing how things actually work in the real world. This includes accepting that most setbacks are temporary.
EXPs: starting an online biz can take 3-5 years to become profitable
— calling a company for help or info usually takes 3-5 calls – long waits, no help, calling back, going thru several people – before getting THE answer or appointment
— having to wait for a physical injury to heal completely
— waiting in a line of any kind, a time to multi-task (context-switching, #3)……

• knowing what triggers our impatience – old childhood buttons from things that were done to us over & over – & still bother us, a lot!  Patience is a virtue because it requires self-control, so we don’t ruin things for others by anxiety & selfishness

It means accepting that we:
• can’t force an issue or project to go faster than possible – called process.   Planning, evaluation & measurement all take time
• don’t expect mates, children friends…. to be in the same place we are at the moment. Instead, we can continue our own life based on the principles of the Program (like Step 12, attraction not promotion) – allowing others their own timing
• not demand to be heard or understood in all situations & by everybody (stores, banks, service people…. loved ones…..)

🍀 Reduces stress, minimizing anger & overwhelm
🍀 Develops understanding & compassion for others because we know what it takes to deal with life’s ups & downs
🍀 We make better decisions, avoiding as many mistakes, by taking the time to assess each situation, see the big picture, weigh the pros & cons, then choose the best option at the time

With patient & diligent effort, using everything in our Recovery tool box, we can apply the Serenity Prayer correctly & wrap ourselves in love-energy as we wait for good things to come.

NEXT: MBTI – Introvert vs Extrovert BRAINS

ACoAs: PATIENCE vs Co-dependent Waiting (Part 2)

PREVIOUS: Co-dep vs Patience #3

SITE: How to cope with waiting for news

QUOTE: “Good character is not formed in a week or a month.  It is created little by little, day by day, by protracted patience” – Heraclitus of Ephesus


Co-dep also shows up as IMPATIENCE, annoyance, intolerance, worry, fear & distrust
• It’s demanding what we want, right now (instant gratification), because any delay in getting a need or a desire met is taken by the WIC as a definite “NO – you can’t ever have it, so shut up & go away!” from the PP (Negative Introject)

• It’s rushing relationships, to get that feeling of instant attachment, which is actually symbiosis. It’s an attempt to compensate for present-day fear of Abandonment pain, to make up for not having had that bond as an infant with mom, when it should have occurred

• It’s impulsively rushing into situations without considering whether they’re right for us, or what the consequences will be – to ourselves or others
• It’s pushing our way ahead of others (selfish entitlement) – the unconscious fear of being left behind – while consciously assuming it’s ‘our right’, but is actually childish narcissism
<ADD YOUR OWN kinds of unhealthy co-dep ‘patience’ & impatience>

Fortunately, Recovery gives us an out – a way to identify our damage so we can separate & strip it away from the Real us that’s hidden under all the defenses, separating the Toxic Rules from our Rights. As adults we have very real options, if we’re willing to risk leaving our attachment to the dysfunction.
REMEMBER: We’re damaged (wounded), not defective!

🦋 🐯 🦆 🐳 🦒 🐇

This kind is an ACTIVE response to reality (personal & environmental)
Just like ‘Acceptance‘ does NOT mean giving up or giving in, Patience does NOT mean letting the world trample us.
Nor does it mean ‘taking the moral high ground’ as some spiritual superiority, nor a punishment from the ‘universe’
• It does not imply the hopelessness of being forced to endure suffering & deprivation
• It does not mean being passive, of not taking appropriate actions when necessary to accomplish something, especially if it’s something only we can do. (Posts: Healthy Actions // What to do when confused // Why are you stuck?)

It DOES mean being emotionally mature. This allows us to tolerate delayed gratification, which can only come from lowering the WIC’s intense anxiety. Healthy patience is active in the sense that we choose to wait for a desired outcome, while at the same time actively continuing to live the best way we can – every day.

Real patience :
• requires knowing the difference between Rescuing & Helping, because it takes patience to sit with our own discomfort of not jumping in to someone else’s problems. Knowing the rules for Helping is important. But we can also tell by being physically stressed or relaxed, & our emotions:

— Rescuing / people-pleasing is driven by anxiety (before), a compulsion to compensate for something broken in us. The excitement of ‘doing’ comes from a false sense of connection, & temporary relief of abandonment fear. Afterward – we can feel drained – from overdoing, disappointed if we didn’t get what we wanted in return, & then angry. Here the actions are ALL about us, the WIC trying to cover up S.H.

— True Helping is done from an inner sense of calm & confidencebefore taking action a choice that comes from the Healthy Adult’s enjoyment of sharing our personal talents, knowledge & experience. And we feel pleased, satisfied & comfortable – afterward. We benefit, but it’s not so much about ourselves.

NEXT: Co-dep vs. Patience #3

ACoAs: Co-dependent vs Patient Waiting (Part 1)



PREVIOUS: ENFJ characteristics


SITEs: Why we hate to wait
“8 Factors that make the wait seem longer”


Children are not patience creatures! Most can’t wait to grow up & be in control of their choices & options. Everything seems to take such a long time. If it’s raining out & we had to stay in, if we had a serious illness that kept us in bed, if one parent was away a lot for business or serving our country…. waiting for it to change or finish seemed endless.

ACoAs: However, this normal anxiousness (not anxiety) is magnified for children in alcoholic / abusive homes. Nothing got better, nothing really changed, nothing we did or said made any difference!
Constantly abandoned in PMES ways, growing up, has left us with the conviction that we are not worthy of anything good.  So waiting is unbearable. Better to not want. We developed a hopelessness that we’ve carried over into adult life – a ‘learned helplessness’ we still believe is our inevitable lot in life.

“Learned Helplessness” by DMT⬇ represents adults with the option to be free, but unwilling to leave their childhood prison, living in deprivation, still trapped by attachment to their abusive family.

CO-DEPENDENT Waiting – RESIGNED ‘patience’
Co-dep is one of the characteristics of the False Self  the WIC formed as a substitute for the True Self – which our damaged family prevented us from developing. Not having had positive mirroring, we say “I don’t know who I am”- in the deepest part of ourselves – even when we can list a few likes, dislikes & accomplishments.

Because the WIC has no stable sense of identity, & without a UNIT, we rely on others to tell us who we are, how we should feel, think & act. We’re like flotsam in the ocean, drifting aimlessly thru mental confusion (T), dragge
d under by waves of emotional pain (E).
Co-dep UP: When anyone is at the -very least- not mean, not judgy, not dismissive and -at best- paying attention to us, tolerant, helpful….., then the WIC feels OK, happy, relieved, alive, allowed to exist.
Co-dep DOWN: But if anyone is -at worst- mean, accusatory, controlling, or -at least- insensitive , silent or neglectful, the light goes out of us, & we feel depressed, immobile, dead.

Co-dep ‘long-suffering’ is PASSIVE waiting, waiting, waiting … for magic!
It means WAITING:
• to be taken care of by others, in ways we should be doing ourselves
• for certain people to come thru for us – who are not capable
• for the active addict (or co-dep parent) to go into Recovery
• for an important-someone to keep their promises – even tho’ we know they usually don’t
• for our S.O. to fulfill all our unmet childhood needs
• for our parents to see us, validate, understand, apologize…..
• for our pain to dissipate, without having to actually process it
• for H.P. to magically heal us so we don’t have to do the ‘work’ of Recovery

Fake Patience means TO:
• live in constant deprivation, because we don’t believe we deserve better
• keep ourselves ‘small‘, while waiting for our ‘golden future’ to materialize
assume someone will know what we need / want, without having to ask
survive in the false hope that “One day I’ll be, I’ll have….”, because we’re not allowed the real thing
put up with whatever drifts into our life, so we’re not alone
• endlessly tolerate unacceptable behavior & situations
• continually say ‘It’s OK’ when something definitely is NOT
• be stuck in hopelessness, unable to get out of bad or unsuitable situations/ relationships…….

NEXT: Co-dep vs Patience #2