[ExI] Eysenck

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sat Mar 21 01:40:45 UTC 2020

Have any of you trained in some variety of neuroscience been exposed to the
ideas of Hans Eysenck re brain function?

A basic idea of his is that introverts have a nervous system tuned to
excitation - strong excitation, weak inhibition.  Very introverted people
are highly sensitive to stimulation and are easily overstimulated.  Their
drug of choice is downers like alcohol.  (I once took a pill containing
phenylpropanolamine, marketed as Dexatrim.  It was as if my brain went into
a seizure of stimulation.  Overstimulated does not even begin to define
it.  Headaches, and misery for two hours.  Mild stimulation for extroverts
looking for weight loss.)  Introverts can tolerate long periods of low

Extroverts are said to have nervous systems tuned to inhibition, and so
have weak excitation.  It takes a lot to overstimulate an extrovert.
Extroverts are drawn to uppers to overcome the strong inhibition.  They do
poorly in school sometimes because sitting down and reading a book for a
couple of hours is just not enough stimulation.  So they turn on the
stereo, get on the phone and talk to somebody - gimme stimulation!
Solitary confinement should be illegal for these people - will drive them

I am extremely introverted and could drink 18 beers and drive home (long
ago), while my companion went to sleep in the car after 6.  One student, a
girl, said that she passed out after two beers - very extroverted indeed.
Cheap date too.  (But not much fun unless you are into necrophilia - sorry,
cheap joke.)

He said that the basis of these ideas was the actions of the RAS -
reticular activating system.  This system controls the level of stimulation
in the cortex.  When you are highly alert it is firing all over the cortex
getting ready for action. When it is inhibited nearly totally you are
asleep.  You have to get through it to the cortex to wake up.  So the
excitation and inhibition above are the result of the actions of the RAS.

He took Jung's concept in introversion/extroversion and modified it and
hypothesized the physiological ideas above.

Any contradictions from your neuroscience knowledge?  Heard of Eysenck?  He
is responsible for two of the Big Five personality factors, I/E and N.

bill w
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20200320/a637634a/attachment-0001.htm>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list