Highly Sensitive Introverts

Researchers say, introverts may actually process their world differently than

others, leading to differences in how they respond to stimuli.


About twenty percent of people are born with this "highly sensitive" trait, which may also manifest itself as inhibitedness, or even neuroticism. The trait can be seen in some children who are "slow to warm up" in a situation but eventually join in, need little punishment, cry easily, ask unusual questions or have especially deep thoughts.

While such traits are relatively familiar because they are easy to observe, the researchers, have found evidence that for those with this innate trait, the actual underlying difference is in the brain's attention to details.

The study was conducted by Jadzia Jagiellowicz, Xiaomeng Xu, Arthur Aron, and Elaine Aron at Stony Brook University, along with Guikang Cao and Tingyong Feng of Southwest University, China and Xuchu Weng of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.

The research, designed to validate the fundamental role of deeper processing of information, was published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

Sensory perception sensitivity (SPS), a personality trait characterized by sensitivity to internal and external stimuli, including social and emotional ones, is found in over one hundred other species, from fruit flies and fish to canines and primates.Biologists are beginning to agree that within one species there can be two equally successful "personalities." The sensitive type, always a minority, chooses to observe longer before acting, as if doing their exploring with their brains rather than their limbs. The other type "boldly goes where no one has gone before." The sensitive's strategy, sometimes called reactive or responsive, is better when danger is present, opportunities are similar and hard to choose between, or a clever approach is needed. It is not an advantage when resources are plentiful or quick, aggressive action is required.

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