In this unit I will now focus the four main personality types as they relate to energy expenditure in the brain. It is in this area that the brain scans, discussed in unit 1, have really opened up our understanding of the brain personality connection. With some detail, I will explain the different brain quadrant dominances, with the understanding that this is connected to each individual’s innate energy expenditure advantages in their brains.
For many years, in fact centuries, experts in the field of psychology, as well as whole cultures, have identified four main personality categories. Hippocrates (mentioned in the history of brain research) made more popular a belief that may have actually began in ancient Egypt. This was the Four Temperaments; and it was connected to the medical concept of humorism. Humorism suggested that four main bodily fluids affect human personality traits and behaviors. They were explained as:
(This is not necessarily as they would fit in the four brain quadrants; it is the way the ancient societies connected bodily fluids to personality.)
You can also look to the Native American’s four points on the medicine wheel. These were, and still are, connected to four personality types. Each point is also assigned an animal to help describe the characteristic. These are as follows:
Carl Jung identified four types, along with his introversion/extraversion theories. Dr. Jung’s description was built upon in 1962 when Myers-Briggs framed these types into their personality type’s assessment, which is still popular today. They start their description with the basic four types of:
objective, analytic, principles, criteria, and critiques
MORE TO COME…..
With this model you can see similarities to our next researcher, Katheryn Benziger. This is what I feel to be the best and most comprehensive description of the brain personality connection to date. Katheryn Benziger takes a scientific explanation by helping us to understand that there is an energy expenditure advantage in the brain that each individual has. She created an extensive personality types assessment called the Benziger Thinking Style Assessment. Brain function expert, Arlene Taylor, expanded on Katheryn’s work in her own writings. They both connect personality traits to the brain quadrant that is used to process the cognitive functions that are related to that trait. This is backed-up scientifically by work done by neuroscientists; such as: Richard Restak and Richard Haier. I know it sounds confusing, but stay with me.
When each one of us is making a fact-based decision we are using the anterior left quadrant of the brain. So, for the individuals that have the ability to use less energy while working in that quadrant, it will naturally become dominant in their personality. Why? It is just easier for them because they have an energy expenditure advantage in this portion of the brain. When each of us is sequentially filing anything, from the letters that form a word to the monthly bills, we are using the posterior left quadrant. Therefore, again, the individuals that have the ability to use less energy while working in that quadrant of the brain will naturally have these traits become dominant in their personality.
Are you starting to get the picture? As I continue in this chapter it will become clearer. The titles that I have assigned to the four BQD’s are as follows: the anterior left is the “Boss” personality; the posterior left is the “Master Coordinator” personality; the anterior right is the “Innovator” personality; and the posterior right is the “Nurturer” personality.
I will list, in some detail, the functions of each quadrant, and then explain how that function shows up in the personalities. As you go through the descriptions be sure to analyze where you fit. Keep in mind the rule that applies in all of the other BPC factors: 100% of the traits will not always apply 100% of the time. Resist the urge to get tripped up when it isn’t all fitting perfectly. As you continue in the certification, I will explain why it isn’t always clear which BQD you are and how to better determine your personal BQD. This will, in turn, add so much value for the people you are assisting or coaching. Your personal journey into understanding your unique brain print will be of great value to those you serve.
Brain Quadrant Dominance Overview
Going back to the wonder of technology, it was acclaimed brain researchers, like Richard Haier and Daniel Amen, that have given us valuable information on energy expenditure in the brain. By using the amazing brain scanning machines referred to earlier in this course, researchers have been able to peer through a window on the brain that has never before been accessible. Based on this research, it is becoming increasingly possible to assign generalized responsibility for specific skills to each of the four cerebral sections. We now know that these are intricately connected to personality types, or thinking styles. This research is showing that most of us are born with a biochemical predisposition for processing information in one of these sections.
Reports and writings explain that in each individual one of the four quadrants has a reduced resistance to transmission across the synaptic gap. In this preferred quadrant, electrical impulses may move as fast as 400 mph, and process information with 1/100th of the energy expenditure second-for-second! As previously mentioned, each quadrant controls different activities and these activities become connected to our natural personality. Due to the decreased resistance across the synaptic gap in our dominate quadrant, we have the potential to process information at 1/100th of energy expenditure there. This is a significant reduction in glucose burned in the brain. So, it is easy to see the connection between energy expenditure advantage and personality gifts. Conversely, energy expenditure draws in the areas that are more difficult for us to work out of, or personality non-gifts, become apparent.
Keep in mind that there are natural fissures in the brain that divide it into these four quadrants. Part of what makes this so fascinating is that these are natural divisions in the brain, not ones that any of the researchers or personality type experts created for their own purposes. The main fissure separates the right and left hemispheres and another separates the anterior (frontal) and the posterior (basal) portions; thus, resulting in the four main quadrants that I referred to earlier. Again, these four quadrants are:
- The anterior left, Boss personality
- The posterior left, Master Coordinator personality
- The anterior right, Innovator personality
- The posterior right, Nurturer personality
The Power of Understanding Your BQD
Truly, the list of benefits is quite long. When you begin to get the clear picture, you will feel the incredible difference it makes in a greater understanding of yourself and others. This gives you a powerful tool when coaching or working with clients. You will fully see that your mental, emotional, and intellectual strengths and non-strengths are biochemical. The difference it makes when you begin to understand why some day-to-day functions are more easily processed than others can be life changing-if you let it. Then, as I will discuss in some detail in a later unit, you will actually become healthier, happier, and more successful; and better able to manage your energy and productivity more efficiently.
This information will also greatly improve your relationships with other people. As you begin to look at individuals with their BPC in mind, your interaction and communication will naturally improve. This, of course, will be of huge benefit in building your business and working with your business partners and clients. You will find that your sales will increase naturally when you become efficient at communicating with the brain in mind.
In addition, you will get a clear picture of the huge difference between learning to do something WELL, and doing it EASILY-work vs. play. This will be incredibly important in helping you increase your quality of life; and develop more efficient systems within your work and personal life. You will begin to identify why you may be experiencing emotional, relationship, or business blocks. Your brain could be trying to tell you something that, up until now, you were not able to understand. Then, as a natural course of adjusting your life to better fit your BPC, you will be able to prevent burn-out, mid-life crisis, excessive adaption, and premature aging; all of which can result from overuse of your non-preferred BQD. Are you beginning to see the incredible value of this information? Can you feel what a huge difference it will make in your life? Can you imagine the gift you will be giving to each and every person that you share this information with? GOOD! Then, let’s move on.
The Anterior Lobes
Your brain is a beautifully complex mix of neurons, glial cells, and neurotransmitters. It is difficult to simplify what takes place there; but, scientists can help us understand, to some extent, where certain cognitive functions take place.
In general, the anterior lobes are responsible for much of our intellectual thought, perception, strategic planning, logical decision making, focused attention, adapting to new situations, and regulating complex behaviors. It is the anterior portions of the brain that we use to make decisions and carry them out to a fruitful and satisfying end. It is interesting to note that you need to use both hemispheres in making decisions. You have to add the emotion to the logic or the brain fails to compute. One side may be dominant over the other but both are necessary in finalizing a decision.
Abstract thinking and the ability to deal with ideas separate from objects takes place here. The “leader” portion of the brain tends to be the anterior portions and, therefore, individuals with BQD in these sections tend to have a leader type mentality. You do need to keep in mind the other BPC factors, such as a person’s I/E ratio. You may find a person with an energy expenditure advantage in one of the anterior portions that, due to their introversion level, prefers not to lead.
The Posterior Lobes
All of the learning preferences are housed in the posterior lobes: the visual, auditory, and motor cortexes. The posterior portion of the cerebrum is considered the “follower” portion. Therefore, in general, individuals with these portions as their BQD tend to have more of the follower type personalities.
“Separate these hemispheres, however, and the differences become apparent. Each half of a mature brain has its own strengths and weaknesses; its own way of processing information and its own special skills. They might even exist in tow distinct realms of consciousness: two individuals, effectively in one skull.” -Rita Carter, Mapping the Mind
In general, the left hemisphere is more logical in its thought processing. It is sequential and time orientated because these details are housed in the left side. Goal setting and achievement tends to dominate the left side, as well. The left will interpret signs as literal; like legends on a map. The left likes the details and breaking down complicated patterns into their smaller parts. The left brain wiring is more densely woven than the right side,and these tightly connected neurons are better equipped to do the intense detailed type work.
Interestingly, the left hemisphere tends to have more grey matter and the right more white matter. According to Rita Carter, in her book Mapping the Mind, this is a significant difference because it lends to the strengths of each hemisphere. She states, “It means that the axons in the right brain are longer than in the left and this means that they connect neurons that are, on average, further away from each other… This suggests that the right brain is better equipped than the left to draw on several different brain modules at the same time. The long range neural wiring might explain why that hemisphere is inclined to come up with broad, multi-faceted but vague concepts.”
Even the deeper portions of the brain differ from the right to the left side; the amygdala is an example. The left side seems to respond more to vocal activity, while the right side tends to be more sensitive to facial movement.
In general, the right hemisphere is responsible for innovation, music and relationships. It tends to be global in perspective, not time based. The right is responsible for translating symbolism and interprets symbols into their :deeper: or abstract meaning. The right hemisphere will also display more emotion. Why? Remember the limbic system and the main thing it is responsible for; it is the emotion center. Structurally, the right hemisphere has many more connectors to the limbic system, enabling it to sense more and deeper emotion.
The right hemisphere tends to be more sensitive to the neurotransmitter noradrenalin. This is related to producing heightened arousal and sensitivity to environmental issues. So, it is no surprise that right brainers tend to have a greater connection to/care for anything that is taking place around them; whether this is with people or nature.
Now that I have given you a general idea of the anterior/posterior and right/left portions of the brain, let’s discuss in more detail the cognitive responsibilities of each of the four quadrants and how they show up in the personality.