Under the Hood

5 Different Brain Types And What You Need To Know About Them

Amen Clinics, established in 1989 by Daniel G. Amen who is a physician, psychiatrist, professor and ten-time New York Times bestselling author, studied over 150,000 brain SPECT scans. They found five brain types that impact human behavior, sympathy and overall personality.

They called the first brain type “the balanced brain.” Scans of this type display symmetrical blood distribution in most areas of the brain.

People with this brain type are likely emotionally stable, flexible and focused. These individuals are timely in what they do, keep promises and deal well with life’s challenges. However, they don’t risk too much since they prefer to stick with the rules.

Since they are focused and organized, they typically excel in school or on-site training. They get along well with others and are drama-free in terms of their relationships.

“The spontaneous brain” is what they identified the second type as. In this type, brain activity is typically lower in the prefrontal cortex (PFC).

As the name suggests, personality of individuals having this brain type prefers doing things on impulse than following a fixed schedule. These second brain type like exploring new things and have broad field of interests.

They don't believe in rules, are usually late and think outside the box. Organization is their strength, and unlike the first type, they are risk takers that it sometimes get them into trouble. Because they have wide range of interests, they get easily distracted and find it hard to maximize their potentials even though they can be really intelligent.

The spontaneous brain types are the balanced brains’ perfect opposite since they welcome dramas in their relationships. They have tendencies to drink too much, try drugs or engage in extramarital affairs.

The third type is called “the persistent brain” and an increased activity is found in the anterior cingulate gyrus (ACG) of people with this type. The persistent brain types get things done, are strong-willed and don’t take no for an answer.

They are mostly successful as long as a routine is followed, but get agitated when things are not going flawless. They worry too much, hold past hurts and can be argumentative.

The persistent brains are stubborn in relationships and they only tend to recall every single fight. They are at risk of developing depression, anxiety and OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) since the ACG is overactive.

The fourth brain type is what Amen Clinics identified as “the sensitive brain.” Brain scans revealed hyperactivity in people’s emotional centers known as the limbic system.

In this type, people feel great empathy towards others and also to animals. They are easily moved by what they hear or affected by what they see that a lot of them develop automatic negative thoughts.

And because they are highly sensitive individuals, they need some time alone to recharge, which other people may misinterpret. They are at risk for addiction, cyclic mood disorders and depression.

“The cautious brain” is the fifth type affecting human behavior. There is increased activity in the brain's anxiety centers and is often associated with decreased levels of GABA that makes people with this brain type vulnerable to addiction and anxiety.

The cautious brain individuals are always anxious, fear rejection and appear to be needy since they constantly seek reassurance in their relationships.

Brain New study finds that spaceflight can change our brains. Aban Nesta / Flickr