I have two sons. The younger I’ve written about before as he’s highly sensitive, and this has provided me with some unique experiences parenting that I like to share in order to help other parents. He’s an extrovert, which is uncommon, but not unheard of. As a highly sensitive extrovert, he’s energized by being around people and experiencing new things, and his entire mood blossoms like you wouldn’t believe.
My other son, the oldest of my children, is the quiet one. I love him every bit as much as my other children. His introversion means he’s energized by his alone time, and whereas he does enjoy coming out to do family things, it’s usually followed by hours locked in his room where he listens to music and reads.
Why are my two boys, so alike in so many ways (looks, interests, hobbies) so different in others?
One word: Science!
There are two major differences in the way an introvert’s brain works versus an extrovert:
- Reward neurotransmitters, and
- Structural differences in the brain itself
The Chemicals Behind Motivation
Extroverts feed on dopamine. The more the better. Dopamine is the “happiness” chemical in the brain. It motivates us to seek success and adventure, and makes us feel accomplished after completing tasks.
In extroverts, they process dopamine differently. The dopamine network is such that the more they get, the happier they are. Studies suggest this is due to the way their brains process the memory when they receive such flood of the transmitter.
Introverts, however, have a more sensitive dopamine system, so as they’re flushed with the neurotransmitter, they soon become overstimulated. All of the positive effects build and make the introvert feel overwhelmed.
The “drug of choice” for introverts is a calmer type of neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. It’s similar to dopamine in that it is also linked to those good happy feelings, but instead of outside stimuli, acetylcholine is released when we’re more introspective, rewarding alone time.
In the medical world, these differences in nervous system responses can make therapy difficult, as each patient requires different methods in order to stimulate the areas of the brain necessary to motivate them. One method that’s proven effective for both however has been equine therapy. Working with the large animals excites the dopamine areas for extroverts, while the horses—being herd animals–appreciate an introvert’s quiet tendency to reflect and react with empathy.
Two Brains, One Mind
The other major factor in the way introverts and extroverts respond to information is the brain itself. For example, information takes a different road through the brain of an extrovert versus an introvert.
For an extrovert, information zips through the main centers hitting those responsible for the senses. Once identified, they tend to react quickly—sometimes without thinking on things further.
Introverts, however, take a far more scenic route. Not only does it pass through those same areas, but it also hits the sections of the brain associated with speech, empathy, and emotional processing.
This is why introverts tend to be far quieter, as their brain processes the information more deeply and thoroughly, and the introvert is then working out the best way to respond.
The topic of introverts versus extroverts has been a long misunderstood one. The more research done on the subject reveals some fascinating differences in the brain’s make-up, and only time will tell what other secrets scientists can unlock.
The post Science Shows the Chemical Differences between Introverts and Extroverts appeared first on NaturalNews Blogs.