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I Am Shy

Introverts vs. Extroverts...

Studies have shown that there are four factors that differentiate the introverted brain from the extroverted brain.

1. [b][u]The Prefrontal Cortex[/u][/b]

A Harvard University study found that the prefrontal cortex (the region of the brain linked to abstract thought & decision-making) is larger in introverts.

It was concluded this might explain why introverts ponder things thoroughly before making a decision; while extroverts are able to live in the moment and take risks without fully thinking everything through.

2. [b][u]Cerebral Blood Flow[/u][/b]

Researchers used positron emission tomography (PET) to measure cerebral blood flow (an indicator of brain activity) in subjects deemed to be quiet or gregarious.

Introverts showed increased blood flow in areas of the brain associated with with making plans and problem-solving.

Extroverts displayed more activity in the portion of the brain associated with interpreting sensory data.

From these results, researchers concluded that introverts are more inward focused while more gregarious individuals crave external sensory stimulation.

3. [b][u]The Nervous System[/u][/b]

Our nervous system has two sides: parasympathetic, which makes us conserve energy and withdraw from the outer environment; and the sympathetic, also known as the “full-throttle” or “fight, flight, or freeze” system.

Extroverts tend to favor the sympathetic side, which makes them active, daring, and inquisitive. In addition, in this system, the brain becomes more alert and hyper-focused on its surroundings. This also leads to a reduction in thinking.

While extroverts thrive when they engage the sympathetic side, for introverts, it’s too much.

4. [b][u]Dopamine[/u][/b]

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter found in the brain that plays a role in the brain’s pleasure and reward centers. It enables us to notice rewards and take action to move toward them.

This dopamine release also explains why introverts need to be alone to recharge, while extroverts are energized by social interaction. The brains of introverts and extroverts reward different behavior. As introverts do not get the energizing reward of a dopamine release in social situations, they find interactions more tiring than their extroverted peers.
Simplicity1119 · 46-50, F
I’m a mix . I like my alone time for recharging . However there are times where I appreciate company . I believe u can be both
sciguy18 · M
@Simplicity1119 Yes. I believe it's a scale and people fall at various points on it.
Simplicity1119 · 46-50, F
@sciguy18 absolutely a scale . In a huge crowd people would expect me to be extrovert , that is not the case . I clam up and observe . Now one on one with by job , I can be very outgoing and get people to open up. Most times at home I am quiet .
sciguy18 · M
@Simplicity1119 Yes. It is definitely situational too.
diablesse · 56-60, F
Very interesting reading, but it makes me wonder if those differences in are the reason why people are one or the other (or even a mix of both) or the result of people being more withdrawn or more daring.
sciguy18 · M
@diablesse Interesting questions. As my studies did not involve brain activity and behavior, I am not qualified to answer. It does help explain why some people are the way they are though...
ChampagneOnIce · 51-55, F
I’ve become more introverted as I’ve gotten older, but I’m still an extrovert. Interesting facts. I’m sure there are many more for both.
sciguy18 · M
@ChampagneOnIce I've gotten more introverted with age too - which I didn't think was possible...
Magenta · F
Interesting and concise.
I don't fit tight in either box, but lean towards introversion.
sciguy18 · M
@Magenta I think people can fall anywhere along the scale...
I'm always exhausted after a night of social interaction... I rather enjoy my alone time.
sciguy18 · M
@SW-User You and me both...
goagainsttheflow · 26-30, F
Very informative!
sciguy18 · M
@goagainsttheflow Thanks for reading and commenting.

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