There are many intriguing findings in The Neuroscience of Personality, Dr. Dario Nardi’s book that reveals neural correlates associated with psychological type and personality. The macro or whole brain data are particularly interesting because they describe an overall brain state. Studying specific brain regions in relation to type also yields some compelling findings. Still, whole brain states reflect a different level , one where the brain is fully engaged or excited.
What do these macro brain states look like on EEG ? They are are either asynchronous one example being the Christmas Tree Brain (while engaged in transcontextual thinking), or synchronous where all regions of the brain are working in harmony and at maximum amplitude. Nardi reports 6 colors that can appear on the EEG read out. For example, a red macro state occurs when the neocortex is hyperstimulated, such as when we have a moment of insight or see an attractive person.
Another such synchronized state features a blue colored EEG read-out and is associated with being alert and calm or performing an activity in which we have creative expertise. While technically not called The Blue Zen Brain, it does capture the essence of a calm mind. Dominant introverted intuitive personality types, specifically the INFJ and INTJ are the most likely to achieve this state. Not only do they achieve this state when they engage in an area of expertise, they also show this pattern when tackling an unfamiliar, novel problem and or envisioning the future. All areas of the neocortex are called to action to realize an answer. The answer is often complex and difficult to explain.
Indeed, omplexity and perfectionism are often byproducts of this elegant and visionary style of problem solving. However, seeing a material world that often does not match what the mind can see can be a source of stress for INTJ and INFJ types. There will always be an ideal that lies just out of reach when the mind is capable of conceiving such a thing. Still, knowing the general tendencies of one’s mind as well as realizing that those tendencies represent one perspective out of many, is a useful point of personal insight. In this case, it can lead to strategies to accept a less than perfect outcome when the ideal is not possible.
In the coming months, look for more articles on the neuroscience of personality. I will report the findings then offer a practical application of these concepts. As always, I appreciate questions, comments, and feedback on what I have written.