bluebeige designs

extroverts/introvert spectrum

by | Nov 30, 2023 | Blog


Our brain and visual system work together to register, digest information and make sense of the world around us. This system is influenced by age, time, events and circumstances, neurobiological differences in our brains and our unique personality traits. So how we see the world is based on how we perceive it. This article will discuss one of these differences: the introvert/extrovert spectrum and its influence on how we perceive things.

The introvert/extrovert personality spectrum was first introduced in the 20th century by Swiss Psychologist Carl Jung. Jung proposed that extroverts are energized by external environments and objects, while introverts prefer solitude and gain energy from their internal environment. Another psychologist named Hans Eysenck proposed biological differences in the brains of introverts and extroverts. His studies suggested that extroverts have a lower level of stimulation arousal while introverts have a higher arousal rate.

Some other studies proposed that extroverts react differently to reward and pleasure because of a neurotransmitter in the brain called dopamine, which controls external reward and response to novelty. While both introverts and extroverts have the same amount of dopamine, these results showed that extroverts had stronger reactions in 2 areas of the brain linked to reward and surprise. They showed a more robust response to winning and achieving goals, especially when the challenge paid off, hence their risk-taking preference and seeking unfamiliar and challenging activities.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, studies suggested that highly introverted individuals often rely on a different neurotransmitter type for pleasure, called Acetylcholine. Acetylcholine, just like dopamine, activates pleasure but through calmer activities and turning inward rather than seeking external rewards. These studies suggested that introverts are more drawn to reflect internally, focus and analyze their surroundings in quiet environments. Introverts prefer using the parasympathetic side of their nervous system to engage with their surroundings, which is the state of rest-digest and internal reflections.

bluebeige designs newsletter

The Frontal Lobe is a brain region that controls planning, decision-making, abstract thinking and high-level executive functions (decisions like determining good against bad or better versus best). The prefrontal cortex (a section of the frontal lobe) involves our concrete-rule learning and abstract rule-learning. At a very high level, the rule-learning process refers to our ability to interact with an unknown circumstance and match the context with an appropriate behavioral response. Abstract thinking is our ability to construct abstract concepts, like freedom or reasoning, that are not directly related to concrete physical objects or experiences.

Some studies using neuroimaging technologies have proposed neurobiological differences between introverts and extroverts. Gray matter and white matter are two major components of our central nervous system. Gray matter supports the brain’s essential functionalities, such as muscle control, memory, emotions, sensory controls, decision-making and self-control. A study published on NCBI outlined a negative correlation between extraversion and the gray matter volume (GMV) of certain brain regions, including the left superior frontal gyrus (sits in the frontal lobe). This study and numerous others have shown a relationship between the brain’s frontal lobe region and our emotional responses and personality traits.

Studies have suggested that introverts have thicker and larger cortical gray matter compared to extroverts. One particular study by Harvard Psychologist Randy Buckner, published in the Journal of Neuroscience Issue 50 2012, signaled a neurobiological aspect to these findings. The results suggested that people with high introversion traits use more neural energy for abstract thinking. In contrast, extroversion traits make us focus more on the present and living in the moment.

bluebeige designs newsletter

The Introvert: More Studied Than Understood
Many case studies have been done throughout the years with similar or contradictory and perhaps even inaccurate results to measure and understand the differences between extroverts and introverts. While there’s a long way ahead to get a better understanding of different personalities, some of these studies signal our current society’s harsh reality: introverts, still, are very much misunderstood.

One consistent issue, especially in the Western culture, has been a society and even educational systems and work environments that often work in favor of extroversion traits. Modern educational systems and most work environments have been designed to benefit extroverts’ needs and encourage extroversion as the more favorable and preferred personality type to succeed and get ahead in life.

68% of people reported that they have, at one point in their career, worked in an open office layout, according to a 2010 International Facility Management Study. Many companies have adopted the open floor plan offices, a more modern and “energetic” design that can benefit certain activities like teamwork and socializing, an environment that extroverts are more comfortable in. Meanwhile, sensory overload and distractions can actually hurt introverts’ performance. Even the open floorplan house layout that has become popular in recent years and the current trends of urban developments and mixed-use developments all seem to focus on collaboration and integration, benefiting extroverts more than introverts.

Misunderstandings and wrong perceptions about what makes an introvert and the appraisal to be “outgoing” and “assertive” to be successful have been linked to introverts’ dissatisfaction and underperformance. Reports show that introverts often change who they are or fake their social preferences to get accepted in such environments.

In recent years, however, more conscious office layout designs have been adopted by companies to improve productivity and work satisfaction for different types of personalities. Some of these practices move away from the complete open-space layouts and provide a mix of open and private spaces for various activities and needs of the employees. As architect Janet Maclaurin stated, the more modern and conscious office space designs allow for areas to interact and socialize but also concentrate and disconnect. These new designs highlight an essential step towards understanding introverts and signal a shift that has been happening in the workspace culture, and that is, the desk is no longer the only place work happens.


  • Beris. (n.d.). Why Introverts Are Introverts? Because Their Brains Are Different. Lifehack.
  • Brain Map Frontal Lobes. (2021). Queensland Health.
  • Dumontheil, I. (2014). Development of abstract thinking during childhood and adolescence: The role of rostrolateral prefrontal cortex. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 10, 57–76.
  • Guest Blogger. (2013, August 27). Are the Brains of Introverts and Extroverts Actually Different? Discover Magazine.
  • Holmes, A. J., Lee, P. H., Hollinshead, M. O., Bakst, L., Roffman, J. L., Smoller, J. W., & Buckner, R. L. (2012). Individual Differences in Amygdala-Medial Prefrontal Anatomy Link Negative Affect, Impaired Social Functioning, and Polygenic Depression Risk. Journal of Neuroscience, 32(50), 18087–18100.
  • Prefrontal Cortex. (2017). The Science of Psychotherapy.
  • Stafford, T. (2013). What makes us extroverts and introverts? BBC.
  • The Psychology of Introversion: Eysenck’s Theory of Arousal. (2017). Introvert Palace. Psychology of Introversion: Eysenck’s Theory of Arousal. (2017). Introvert Palace.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

the story of color | black

The redlining term comes from the 1930s “Residential Security” maps of major US metropolitan areas, created by the Home Owner’s Loan Corporation. These color-coded maps assigned A-D grades to neighborhoods based on investment risk, race, ethnicity, income, class, geography, etc.

the art of living: design at cell levels

What we see matters. Certain forms and patterns give us a dose of dopamine and happiness. But, design at the cell level goes beyond form and function; it determines how we see, use, feel and perceive the space and, as a result, our general well-being.

what makes something beautiful?

Neuroscience studies of art and beauty have shown a strong connection between beauty and desire. The same brain areas are activated when we look at something beautiful versus when we desire something. The works of neuroscientists like Semir Zeki suggest strong links between beauty and the brain. His studies, particularly the mOFC part of our brain, focus on the brain when we experience beauty like seeing a piece of art or listening to music.

movement, visual system, motion perception

Movements of our eyes, bodies and the world around us have a tangible and intangible presence in all aspects of our daily lives. Studies have shown that the direction, orientation and nature of the movement can impact what we see and how we process the information received and its associated emotions.

extroverts/introvert spectrum

How we see the world is based on how we perceive it. Some studies using neuroimaging technologies have proposed neurobiological differences between introverts and extroverts.

necker cube: design + illusions

The Necker cube was founded by a Swiss scientist, Louis Albert Necker. The image is drawn in a wireframe mode with 2-D planes exposing all 6 sides of a cube in an orthographic projection. It is an ambiguous drawing of a cube with no obvious visual orientation. This lack of visual direction triggers an optical illusion which results in multiple interpretations of the cube’s direction.

sfumato | science & art

Sfumato is an Italian word derived from the word “Fumo”.The term is often a reference to a painting technique popularized during the Italian High Renaissance period. This article will explore Da Vinci’s approach to Sfumato in one of the most famous paintings in history, Mona Lisa, and the art of Sfumato and our visual perceptions.

color white | experience over design

In terms of Spectral Colors, White and Black are not colors; however, White is arguably considered a color with no associated hue, an achromatic color. Then, White is described as all colors of the visible light (white light) with no designated color family (hue). So in technicality, White is a color but in visual perception, White means a lack of color.

color & vision | how we see color

Objects don’t possess any colors by themselves. Color is created by our visual system when visible light interacts with an object. So color is rather the creation of our perception of space around us.

work + health | a sustainable living

According to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an average person spends about 90% of their life indoors. That is equivalent to about 72 years of our life (with an average 80-year lifespan). And yet scientific evidence has shown that indoor air is a lot more polluted than outdoor air even in industrial and busy cities that don’t have great outdoor air quality, which can pose variety of risks to our health and quality of life.

subscribe to our newsletter

bluebeige designs newsletter

my name is aidin belganeh and i am the founder and chief creative director at bluebeige designs. i graduated with a bba degree in marketing from southern methodist university in 2012. while working in creative marketing and ux design, i realized my passion for architecture and design. i then enrolled at new york school of interior design, nysid, to pursue a career in interior design.

i started bluebeige designs shortly after. bluebeige designs is a design studio focusing on creating beauty through simple plain spaces. bluebeige designs magazine is an extension of our brand to explore interesting topics through the lens of architecture and psychology. our articles are in scholarly writing to explore the connections between science, art, design and architecture.

our articles put a spotlight on topics that can help us understand the world around us or change the way we see or perceive it. each article is carefully curated and referenced through data-based research and studies.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This