Recently, I caught an article about how introverts and extroverts differ neurologically, and how they respond to neurotransmitters such as dopamine and acetylcholine. So, a lot of times you may wonder, why do you overstimulated whenever there is a crowd (talking to introverts here) or anxious when you’re alone (my fellow extroverts)?
The answer is, your brain is wired differently, and therefore you have a different personality. It’s not as complex as it sounds. Trust me. We all obviously have similar brain structure, because we are after all, a part of the same species. However, a recent study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that introverts have larger and thicker gray matter in the prefrontal cortex, compared to their extrovert counterparts that have thinner gram matter in the same area. So, what does this mean? It essentially describes why introverts tend to visualize abstract concepts, overthink situations, or just cautiously approach situations in general, while extroverts tend to live in the moment with a carefree attitude.
Not only are the brains of introverts and extroverts structured differently though, but they are also neurochemically quite different in terms of response to neurotransmitters. While introverts and extroverts have equal amounts of dopamine in their brains, the dopamine reward network in the brains of extroverts is far more active than in the brains of introverts. Dopamine, being the pleasure chemical, is more conducive to the needs of an extroverted personality, but this may vary according to unique individuals. For introverts though, the neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which also serves a pleasurable chemical in the brain, allows them to turn inward for good feelings. It essentially provides them the ability to stay focused on an individual task for an extended period of time. Thus, both introverts and extroverts have distinctive neurological qualities that may help define or dictate their behavior. It’s crazy how much the brain dictates or influences not only our body’s physical condition, but also our personalities!