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  1. #1

    Default Can the type functions be explained by neuroscience?

    I know this is a weird thinking, still I am curious. Most members of this forum would agree that the types we are talking about exist in real life. They are visible enough for us to be able to exchange thoughts about them.
    The types we are talking about differ by using different dominant functions. These functions have all to do with gathering information and coming to decisions. So clearly they have to do with what our brains is supposed to do. Therefore we should be able to find correlates of those functions in our brain. Having read some neuroscience books myself I know you can’t allocate specific functions to a specific region in the brain. Still don’t you think that discoveries in neuroscience might be helpful to explain those eight functions? E.g. could the somatic marker theory by Damasio tell us something about introverted feeling?
    Would it be wrong to say those functions don’t exist if neuroscience is not able to explain them?

    PS: I am happy if you move the thread to the more appropriate forum.
    Thoughts die the moment they are embodied by words. (Arthur Schopenhauer)

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  3. #3
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    It is always wrong to say something does not exist, because we can not explain it.

    We had two greater discussions, if I remember correctly, about a possible difference between Feelers and Thinkers in which the Feelers were supposed to have a larger amout of brain cells around the heart. Thats of course ridicoulus because the heart is only a symbolic expression for feelings, but I think the idea must be correct in some way, because I think that difference in personality comes from difference in the development of the brain.

    The other intresting discussion there was, was about a difference in the makeup of the brain between Introverts and Extroverts. Here is a link to it:
    Introvert / Extrovert: the difference is in your brain

    -----

    I myself am cautious to speculate too much with the functions of MBTI. European psychology does not really like typology and to me it is just the better attempt to get to know people, if you lack empathy. Most INFJs for example I know are highly reserved when it comes to accepting the system, because they already developed their own system.

    So in the end its nothing more than to classify general obervations within humans, on a wide spectrum, but if it could be used to find application in psychology or neuroscience, I highly doubt.

    I like it, because it gives a multi-facetted view of the motivations of other people, you couldnt get to know in the real world, because you are not sensitive to them. Nevertheless in the end its just fun and shouldnt treaten too serious
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  4. #4
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanook View Post
    have you stumbled upon BrainTypes.com yet?
    Wow, never saw that one before; that's ineresting! It seems to build upon Lenore Thomson's theory (assuming she's the first one to propose the brain hemosphere mappings). This sort of thing might be the key to type theory gaining more respect in science. (Don't know if this stuff is being taken seriously or not. Certainly don't hear about it. You did hear on TV recently another theory connecting renamed Keirsey temperaments with brain chemicals: http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...y-type-tv.html)
    APS Profile: Inclusion: e/w=1/6 (Supine) |Control: e/w=7/3 (Choleric) |Affection: e/w=1/9 (Supine)
    Ti 54.3 | Ne 47.3 | Si 37.8 | Fe 17.7 | Te 22.5 | Ni 13.4 | Se 18.9 | Fi 27.9

    Temperament (APS) from scratch -- MBTI Type from scratch
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    Senior Member Hendo Barbarosa's Avatar
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    Well, I was reading this book called the Introvert Advantage whereby they were able to define two different types of pathways in different peoples' brains, one that was quicker to uh, actuate? dopamine, and the other that took a longer path, and was more acetylcholine-based apparently too. They found that the statistics of like, the ratio of people with one brain type to another actually correlates with the ratio of extrovert to introvert in our society!

    So at least in terms of how we get our energy, there is a certain amount of science that appears to back it up. As far as other more complex cognitive functions go, however, there will probably need to be a few more advances in optogenetics or something before we can accurately know the details.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Hendo Barbarosa's Avatar
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    Also:

    Quote Originally Posted by The BTI site
    For instance, rather than saying Judging (J) seeks closure, order, structure and so on, and Perceiving (P) is open-ended, adaptable, and non-judgmental, we try to help people see that “J” essentially describes the left brain and “P” correlates with the right hemisphere. (Actually lesser degrees of J and P are within both hemispheres but that is a more cavernous discussion and not relevant to this explanation.)
    holy crap that's cool.

  7. #7
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    The social gene

    The question remains, “How do we get to be an introvert or extrovert?” While nothing is “all in the genes,” there appears to be a genetic factor in our socializing preferences. The “novelty-seeking” or lust for excitement may be linked to a D4DR gene on chromosome 11. Dean Hamer, chief of gene structure and regulation at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, studied the D4DR gene and found that it affects the neurotransmitter dopamine, which controls excitement levels and is vital for physical activity and motivation.
    Health Leader, Introverts vs. Extroverts

    At the least, it looks like there is a correlation. It's very interesting how extroversion/introversion relates to dopamine.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    First, yes - there is a connection between biology and the 'functions', although neuroscience agrees more with there being 5, not four, and not in terms of functions.

    The major traits that have been identified, at least in part, are E/I and Neuroticism (loosely translated as positive and negative emotions). There are some threads around here that talk about it - unfortunately I removed the papers that I had posted on it here for space reasons. Google scholar can likely find them if anyone wants some details.

    There is no real right and left brain processing, not in the way that is being described. The fundamental divide here is in overall processing styles - again, loosely put as paralell vs serial. Even that is simplistic, as the interactive effect between them doesn't encourage 'dominance', exactly. (I rather like this explanation - good amount of detail, but easy to read.)

    For the most part, personality theories are generalities that draw upon a core set of behaviors (ie: taken from factor analysis, and this includes MBTI for the most part). For example, extraversion has a basis in positive emotions - and ties into the reward system fairly easily. Yet, the descriptors tie it into "active", "enthusiastic" and the like, which is not a direct expression - it is, as always, a preference. Yet those preferences do not work in lockstep - the average person only shows preference on 3 or 4 of the 5 subtraits. They do not describe a single biological factor, and the preference relationship is tied into one (or a couple) of "core" factors that then connect (ie: "bias" behavior) to others. I use "core" and "bias" in quotations here because we define them as "core", and the behaviors as influenced by it - in reality, you could pick other major factors (16pf may have too many, others believe there are 10 to 12) and have them act as "core"... the only true core ones being the biological factors, of which tie into nearly everything anyway.

    So the answer is - personality theories suffer greatly from slicing a multitude of influences into 'soundbites'. Validating the theories does not particularly help the situation, either. It really helps to think of the major traits as clusters in a neural network, and within each cluster are different weights to different preferences. That cluster feeds into the other clusters, such that they all feed input and output. So yes, and no... there are no clear walls, but there are clear biological preferences at work.

    You can replace "cluster" with traits, and "weights" as sub-traits. And likewise, you can think of functions like Te as a mix of T and J -> essentially a strong interactive effect between the weights. However, unlike MBTI, you can slice any interactive effect into functions, dependent on what the major prompts to action are... a not so accurate but illustrative example is that a E--J will feel good about finding closure, which may or may not be weaker than a I--J that will feel bad about not finding closure. With negative emotions being a stronger system, you'll find that I--Js tend to take closure a lot more seriously than E--Js. Closure, of course, is still a generalization, and just as Is will tend to be more negative, they are still less active than Es would be - just more driven in certain circumstances.

    [/rambling]

  9. #9
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    Wow, never saw that one before; that's ineresting! It seems to build upon Lenore Thomson's theory (assuming she's the first one to propose the brain hemosphere mappings). This sort of thing might be the key to type theory gaining more respect in science. (Don't know if this stuff is being taken seriously or not. Certainly don't hear about it. You did hear on TV recently another theory connecting renamed Keirsey temperaments with brain chemicals: http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...y-type-tv.html)
    FWIW, when I read Lenore's book I saw her bibliographical references about "brain types" leading to a man named Jon Niednagel. He's the one who owns/runs that website. I didn't dig very deep but I had a hard time finding any useful information about this man or his research. Sounded sketchy to me. Maybe you (or anyone else here) can look into his work?

    Actually it looks like the website has more info than I saw when I first investigated his name, but I'd still like to see a critical opinion about the man's work.
    intp | type 9w1 sp/sx/so

  10. #10
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanook View Post
    have you stumbled upon BrainTypes.com yet?
    The initial presentation is not convincing as it is based on aggressive and predictable marketing tactics, but the concept seems interesting "if" it can make a convincing case scientifically. The claims that there are only 16 brain types and each one is locked into a predisposed set of gifts and challenges that cannot be overcome through environment is quite the claim. Saying "they believe it will be proven with genetics soon" means absolutely nothing until it actually is.

    Quote Originally Posted by entropie View Post
    ...The other intresting discussion there was, was about a difference in the makeup of the brain between Introverts and Extroverts. Here is a link to it:
    Introvert / Extrovert: the difference is in your brain

    ...
    That was an interesting article. It also approaches introversion and extroversion as something more fundamental in cognitive processing than socialization. The idea of introverts being more easily stimulated makes complete sense to me. That is precisely why it is difficult for me to be around many people, or especially the extremely extroverted for long periods of time. It wears me down through over stimulation.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
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    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

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