The Physiology of Psychological Type, Part II

So much has been discovered in the past ten to twenty years that it is now possible to be relatively certain about the physiological bases for Dr. Jung's Typology. To start with, one can begin to understand the physiology of Jung's four functions, by developing a working familiarity with the following physiological terms.

So much has been discovered in the past ten to twenty years that it is now possible to be relatively certain about the physiological bases for Dr. Jung's Typology. To start with, one can begin to understand the physiology of Jung's four functions, by developing a working familiarity with the following physiological terms:

  • Functional Specialization
  • Werneke's Area
  • Broca's Area
  • Frontal Lobes
  • Posterior Cortical Convexity (Parietal, Occipital and Temporal Lobes)
  • Electrical Resistance
  • Cortical Electrical Efficiency
  • Preference
  • Competency Development
  • PASS (Prolonged Adaptive Stress Syndrome)
  • Corpus Collosum
  • Hippocampus
  • Limbic System
  • Amydala
  • Hypothalamus

Subsequently, by juxtaposing what we now understand about the human brain and nervous system with the nature, pattern and structure of Jung's Typology.

With only a preliminary understanding of these terms and an understanding of Dr. Carl Jung's typological model and observations, one can quite readily come to not only a new appreciation for the accuracy or Dr.Jung's observations, but as well, an extended understanding of their implications for the individual seeking to thrive and for professionals — therapists, career counselors, life planning counselors, marriage counselors - seeking to counsel that individual with support and guidance.

Indeed, as you will soon appreciate, given adequate grounding in contemporary neuroscience, one can understand clearly how:

  1. Jung's four Functions are rooted in four distinct areas of the cortex;

  2. Jung's observation that each of us has one and only one Natural Lead Function which functions as our personal compass or "true north";

  3. Jung's appreciation for the fact that each Function has two Auxiliary Functions which serve as dependable helpers.

  4. Jung's observation concerning the identification of one's greatest Natural Weakness - that if a person's Natural Lead is Feeling, one will have the greatest difficulty developing and effectively using Thinking; or if one's Natural Lead is Intuition, one will have the greatest difficulty in developing and effectively using Sensation.

  5. The difference between the Feeling Function and Emotions.

  6. Jung's belief that Falsification of Type was real and a serious threat to a person's physical and mental / emotional health.

With no further ado, then, let's get into those all powerful terms, keeping in mind as we do that our current scientific knowledge of Brain Function is vastly more than Jung's as a result of work done in the past 5 to 25 years, as the United States established and supported research to support "The Decade of the Brain". Moreover, today, our knowledge is greater because that research has been made much more powerful by technological breakthroughs which allow us to do: three- dimensional, distance sensing accurately and in detail.

  • Functional Specialization: This concept is used in physiology the same way it is used in business and in many other areas of life, including Jungian psychology, in which Jung himself identifies and focuses on four functions, each with a different gifts. Functional Specialization indicates that in the make up of the whole there are different elements each of which has its own specialized task or contribution. Implied in this concept is the understanding that each such task or contribution is best performed or done by the element designed or built specifically to accomplish that particular task. It is a concept which is well understood by those who work with tools and machines and whose experience with these had led them to believe that the best tool for the job is the tool which was designed specifically for that job.

    With respect to the human cortex, functional specialization is said to exist in that: (1) the cortex is clearly divided into four almost equal elements, in that each hemisphere or half is further divided by a central or rondalic fissure which separates the frontal lobe on each side from posterior portion of the hemisphere, today known as the posterior cortical convexity; (2) each of these four areas can be shown function differently; and (3) each contributes differently based on its unique specialized capabilities.

    Significantly, among neuro-physiologists there exists some disagreement about functional specialization. Some researchers argue, when looking from a particular perspective, that the brain is also highly integrated and seemingly at times redundant. Auditory information is processed in many areas. Indeed, even music is processed in many areas. Moreover, language in come persons can be shown to involve all four regions of the cortex. The key to this discussion is that the cortex is both specialized and integrated, much as an assembly-line or a computer.

    An example which is often sited to argue for integration is language. Yes, it is true that in some persons talking can involve sections of all four regions. This is true. However, it is also true that the integrated process of speaking a language involves the combining of highly predictable, specialized elements from each of the four regions. Speech itself, articulating words in a structured manner is managed by the Werneke area in the left frontal lobe. The vocabulary is processed by the area in the posterior left known as Broca's area or the "language lump". The tonals which some people use to clarify or emphasize meaning (e.g. especially when humor such as sarcarasm is involved) are managed by the posterior right. And, the gestures which some people use to further enrich communication are managed by the right frontal lobe.

  • Broca's Area: That portion of the Left Frontal Lobe which manages speech and the structure of language, named for the French surgeon who discovered it's functional specialized contributions. Broca's area manages the precision of articulation or enunciation.

  • Werneke's Area: That portion of the Left Temporal Lobe, known as the language lump, where the vocabulary used in reading and writing is stored. Significantly, a large bundle of neurons which hard wire with Broca and Werneke Areas support the rapid and efficient communication between these two specific areas needing for human speech.

    Of interest to those working with language as well as those seeking to better understand the physiological bases of Jung's four functions and their unique contributions to life, is the fact that each of these well studied and understood areas in the left hemisphere has an area that is its counter part in the right hemisphere. Thus, for Broca's Area in the Left Frontal Lobe, there is a comparable area in the Right Frontal Lobe, which can manage speech it's left counter part is damaged, but which otherwise, will prove to excel at managing the "dance" of gestures which some people use to support or emphasize speech. And, for Werneke's Area in the Left Temporal Lobe, there is a comparable area in the Right Temporal Lobe, which deals less with vocabulary and more with the tonal messages and facial expressions which support or contradict someone's speech.

    When exploring these four functionally specialized areas, one can also note that in the same way that the Broca Area on the Left is hard wired to the Werneke Area on the Left; the mirror image of Broca's Area found in the Frontal Right is hard-wired to the mirror-image of Werneke's Area in the Posterior Right. Moreover, there is a distinct bundle of neurons which hard wire Broca's in the Left to it's own mirror image in the Frontal Right; and Werneke's in the Left to it's own mirror image in the Posterior Right. Thus, when all aspects of language (vocabulary, speech, tonals/facials and gestures) are used in one communication, a person literally tends to be using his or her "whole brain."