Introverts and Extroverts Brains Differ in Amazing Ways

Introvert or extrovert one commonality for us is both have a brain. If it’s true about introverts brains being different than extrovert brains then what about our brains make the distinctions in preferences more understandable?


Introverts and Extroverts Brains Differ in Amazing Ways

Before we examine some of the differences let’s be on the same page about what being more of an introvert or extrovert means.

Every person introverts and extroverts all day long – research, if you do it is more introverting than attending a business happy hour. One focuses on our outer world. The outer focus would include activities, people, and things. The other focuses on the inner world of thoughts, interests, ideas, and imagination.

These are two different but complementary sides of our nature. But most of us have a preference, hard wired in our brain, towards energy from either the outer or the inner world.

This preference takes the lead and plays a more dominant role in our behavior.

The eyes and the brain.

Your eyes use 65% of your brainpower, the most out of any body part. So then next to the brain, your eyes are the most powerful body part.

One difference between introvert and extrovert eyes is how each style tends to favor warmer colors like red or orange versus cooler colors like green or blue.

Eyes of extroverts prefer warmer colors, red and orange while eyes of introverts, go to cooler ones like blue and green.

But remember the energy distinction between introvert and extrovert? Extroverts find energy in activities, people, and things. And we introverted types are more energized from within.

This difference in energy sources explains why introverts at a networking can unknowingly be sucked up into an energy vacuum. Have you ever noticed how many people are darting their eyes around the room?

Then, as an introvert we dart around with our eyes trying to find some friendly faces or a haven to take a break.

The darting of eyes, if it’s an extrovert, must mean fully getting charged: extroverts go outside of themselves for energy. Is it possible with our eyes that just taking in the surroundings and people in it, our energy goes in full throttle?

The mouth and the brain.

Marti Olsen Laney’s “The Introvert Advantage” cites studies that show introverts have a longer pathway in the brain to access memories or information. The extroverts brain path is shorter and accesses more sensory information.front-and-back-of-brain

Have you ever been in a brainstorming session and find you want to “pass” on the first round of ideas? If you did you could be an introvert and need that extra thinking time.

If you are ready to open your mouth and jump in with an idea, you could be an extrovert.

If we are communicating differently because of this longer versus shorter pathway, consider how we can develop misunderstandings.

A more extroverted person wants to jump in with engagement. A more introverted might try to stop and think. Each might form wrong conclusions.

Extroverts talk to think things out; introverts think things through and then talk.

The front and back of the brain.

A study in 2006 stated that PET scans of introverts showed more activity in the brain frontal lobes. This is the area activated for remembering, problem solving and planning.

Extroverts show greater activity in the brain anterior lobes. This part of the brain involves in-the-moment or recent external stimulated sensory processing like hearing, watching or driving.

One person responding to my online survey about sales reluctance said they have a negative stereotype about sales and salespeople — specifically they are insincere, pushy and don’t listen. If such behavior is brain related, then it may be because of more access to the back of the brain. After all who would want to have people think of them as insincere, pushy and not listening.

Not being a neuroscientist, some scientific data isn’t easy to understand. What the data does communicate is it is our brains to a good extent that make introverts who they are and extroverts who they are, and it’s all quite a perfect balance.


But recently, neuroplasticity is finding that the brain can – form new neural connections!

In part what this fourth point means is if someone wanted more extrovert or even introvert behaviors, it is possible to change deliberately.

Can you add some facts to how Introverts and Extroverts Brains Differ in Amazing Ways?



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  1. As you know, I’m a mix of extrovert and introvert, even though I’m mainly extrovert. Can’t help wondering how my brain works? Probably better that I don’t know:-) When it comes to how quickly I voice an opinion it depends on if I master the subject or not or if it’s essential to be diplomatic because of say, a member of the group having low self esteem. Having said that I get A LOT of energy from people and doing things. Teaching asylum seekers Swedish is for instance giving me a huge kick. The woman translating to Arabic for me though is super nervous and I can’t help wondering if she’s an introvert. After each lesson she asks me if she was doing ok.
    catarina.alexon recently posted…Crisis management – can you handle it?My Profile

  2. Jacqueline Gum

    As usal you’ve given stuff to think about. Like why I love the color red, yet when I look around,my decor is mostly neutral to coolish tones. I have a light blue couch, fro example. Hmmmm.. And it’s nice to know that the brain can exhibit alacrity! One can always use a few more neural connections!
    Jacqueline Gum recently posted…A Break For Where’s The JusticeMy Profile

  3. Jeannette Paladino

    When I was a manager facilitating staff meetings, I had to learn how to curb my tendency to go for closure sooner than later. As an extrovert, I want to get out the facts, have a discussion and get on with it. But some people (read introverts) need more time to mull over their ideas before speaking up. So I made myself keep the conversation going and it’s not a bad idea to ask, “Any other ideas out there?”
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…Instagram Gains, Blogs Lose Among Fortune 500My Profile

  4. Well, this article differentiate some real aspect of introvert and extrovert. People think I am an introvert.

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