Brain Typing, which is being developed by Jonathan P. Niednagel, is an effort to synthesise psychology, physiology and neuroscience -- to create a typology that categorises individuals based on mental and motor skill patterns. Niednagel believes these patterns are based on inborn genetic traits.

Niednagel first concieved of the idea in the 1970s while coaching for little league. When observing the kids' baseball-playing tendencies, he noticed that those with similar personalities also had similar motor movement skills. After conducting extensive research, Niednagel fully developed the Brain Typing system and has since promoting his Brain Typing skills as an asset to professional sports teams, at least one of which (the Phoenix Suns) is rumoured to pay him quite a large chunk of cash for such services.

The Brain Typing system itself is basically an extension of the psychological typology pioneered by Carl Jung in his book Psychological Types and later fleshed out by Isabel Myers and Katherine Briggs (see Myers-Briggs, MBTI, et cetera). However, Niednagel's additions are quite significant as they incorporate physical patterns and empiricism into what was once was said to be little more than a speculative sort of psychology.

Nonetheless, while these findings draw on brain research, et cetera; they have not yet recieved full scientific validation. Niednagel is currently employing some scientists toward this end; meanwhile, Brain Typing has come under fire from the Sports Psychology community, who are very skeptical of the system (and have taken note of the national attention it has recieved). Indeed, it is true that Niednagel has no neurology or psychology credentials - the extent of his education is a BA in accounting. But to its credibility, Brain Typing seems to work remarkably well...Time will tell wheather it is truly as scientifically valid as Niednagel claims.

Of more concern, perhaps, are the ethical issues surrounding the development and employment of this typology. Niednagel, who is of the conservative-capitalist-Creationist disposition, seems to view his system more as a product to be marketed than as a scientific discovery to be diffused. This isn't of much concern in and of itself, except that Niednagel appears to be advocating the use of Brain Typing for career tracking-type purposes - since different Brain Types are better suited to different careers, employers could one day be able to screen applicants on the basis of Brain Type. Niednagel talks of developing some sort of Brain Type blood test suited to these purposes. As mentioned above, he is already being paid big bucks to help sports teams draft players of optimum Brain Types. If Brain Typing ever becomes as important as Niednagel thinks it will, this could develop into an interesting ethical issue.

As discussed above, Brain Typing incorporates physiology in to the previously speculative area of personality typology. But in what way? Well, each of the sixteen different Brain Types functions in a different way, drawing on different areas of the brain. This is probably the basis of the behavioural differences observed by Jung and his followers in the first place. As a result, each brain type is not only associated with personality traits, but with speech patterns (e.g. articulation, inflection, et cetera) and motor skill tendencies (coordination, body balance, dexterity, et cetera).


Physical traits associated with Myers-Briggs preference pairs

Extroverted:
-Dominant function (Se, Ne; Te, Fe) located in frontal lobes of brain (Quadrants I and IV)
-Much more energetic (naturally energy-expending)
-Generally quicker witted/quicker-moving/more fast-paced
-Faster rate of speaking

Introverted:
-Dominant function (Si, Ni; Ti, Fi) located in posterior lobes of brain (Quadrants II and III)
-Less energetic (energy-conserving)
-Slower-paced, slower-speaking


Sensing:
-Brain more focused on physical functions than mental ones
-Better gross-motor skills
-Generally better fine-motor skills
-Lesser intra-cereberal mental skills
-Se (Extroverted Sensing) function located in Quadrant IV (anterior-right lobe) of brain; Si (Introverted Sensing) function located in Quadrant II (posterior-left lobe)

iNtuitive:
-Brain focused more mentally than physically
-Lesser gross-motor] skills
-Generally lesser fine-motor skills
-Greater capacity for mental functions
-Intuitive functions located in same quadrants of brain as corresponding sensate functions.


Thinking:
-Both thinking functions (Te and Ti) processed in cerebral cortex
-Brain more objectively focused, preferring the inanimate world
-Slightly greater capacity for mental functions, slightly lesser gross motor skills (both characteristics are only necessarily true of those that are also intuitve types)
-Te (Extroverted Thinking) function located in Quadrant I (anterior-left lobe) of brain; Ti (Introverted Thinking) function located in Quadrant III (posterior-right lobe)

Feeling:
-Both feeling functions (Fe and Fi) processed in portion of brain below the cerebral cortex (I don't remember the name)
-Brain more subjectively focused, preferring the animate world
-Slightly less capacity for mental functions, slightly greater gross motor skills (only necessarily true of sensate types)
-Feeling functions located in same quadrants of brain as corresponding thinking functions.


Judging:
-Left-brain dominant: Dominant and auxillary functions (Si, Ni; Te, Fe) located in left hemisphere of brain
-More temporally/linearly inclined; more analytic mental process
-More mechanical movement patterns
-Tend to be less physically coordinated

Percieving:
-Right-brain dominant: Dominant and auxillary functions (Se, Ne; Ti, Fi) located in right hemisphere of brain
-More spatially inclined; more synthetic mental process
-More fluidity in movement patterns
-Tend to be more physically coordinated


Physiological strengths of Myers-Briggs function blocks

ST
-fine motor-skilled
-fairly skilled with gross motor and verbal/aural/visual functions

SF
-gross motor-skilled
-fairly skilled with fine motor functions

NT
-Skilled with mental functions
-fairly skilled with verbal functions

NF
-Skilled with verbal/aural/visual functions and "body harmony"
-Fairly skilled with mental functions
-Good at coordinating fine & gross motor movements

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.