So, who wouldn’t want to be an introvert? I desperately want to be, even though I confess that I sometimes talk to people in lifts – “I bet you’re wondering why I’ve gathered you all here today” – have 2000 Facebook friends, and when nervous, babble. Is there any hope for me?
A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that introverts have larger, thicker grey matter in their prefrontal cortex. This is the place in the brain that’s linked to abstract thought and decision-making, so you want lots of this. Extroverts, on the other hand, have thinner grey matter in this area. This means that introverts devote more of their energy and resources to abstract thought, whereas extroverts have the propensity to live in the moment.
As it’s simpler to turn inward when there’s limited external stimulation, introverts opt for a calm environment. This is all grand – love a bit of geeky neuroscience, me. But it may not be that simple.