Introverts ‘live it up on the inside’

One of my favorite parts of the romance panel I moderated at the Get Lit festival last month was hearing the panelists — Asa Maria Bradley, Tamara Morgan, Katee Robert, and Rebecca Zanetti — describe where they each fall on the introspection/extroversion continuum. Writing tends to be an intensely solitary experience across long periods of time, so it makes sense that a writer has to at least be comfortable with introversion.

On the heels of this I was fascinated to read a recent “Advice Goddess” column in which Amy Alkon discusses the topic. She refutes the idea that introverts are somehow ‘less than’ their more outgoing counterparts.

“They’re not,” she says. “They’re differently functional. Brain imaging research by cognitive scientist Debra L. Johnson and her colleagues found that in introverts, sensory input from experience led to more blood flow in the brain (amounting to more stimulation). The path it took was longer and twistier than in extroverts and had a different destination: frontal areas we use for inward thinking like planning, remembering, and problem-solving. So, introverts live it up, too; they just do it on the inside.”

Alkon continues: “Extroverts’ brain scans revealed a more direct path for stimuli — with blood flowing straight to rear areas of the brain used for sensory processing, like listening and touching. They also have less overall blood flow — translating (in combination with a different neurochemical response) to a need for more social hoo-ha to be ‘fed.’”

More about the always-enlightening Amy Alkon here.

Amy Alkon, also known as the "Advice Goddess"

 

 

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