Dario Nardi: “Neuroscience of Personality” | Talks at Google

By | January 28, 2020


>>Female Presenter: Welcome everyone. It’s
a pleasure to see you both here in Mountain View as well as VC. Thank you so much for
joining us. I have the immense pleasure of welcoming Dr. Dario Nardi to come speak with
us today. Welcome.>>Dario Nardi: Thank you.>>Female Presenter: I wanted to give a little
bit of background on Dario and then we will have an hour and 20 minutes with him. So,
we are truly, truly grateful for his expertise today. I invited Dario to come speak with
us because he is truly an expert in the field of personality type. This area is of greater and greater interest
to us here at Google as we start to use some of the tools that are associated with understanding
personality type. And because, as a culture, we really value the ability to communicate
and work effectively with people of all different types and approaches and preferences, and
equally in the products that we design. We really strive to design things that are
highly usable and relevant for our users. And so, the awareness of personality types,
the awareness of preferences and how people tend interact, behave with one another, make
decisions, can only add it to both our effectiveness individually with those that we work, but
certainly with the products that we create for the world. Dario is really taking the research into personality
type to the next level with his neuroscience research that he’s been doing at his lab in
UCLA, working with his students to really understand and really see what are the patterns
of brain activity that occur and how do those connect with people’s personality types when
they have truly identified for themselves what they know to be their best fit type. And when we talk about type, we’re referring
primarily to the MBTI instrument,the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which many of you may have
come across in your careers, either before or at Google, or perhaps even earlier than
that in college. So, there will be some clear references to type as identified by the MBTI. A little bit of background on Dario. As I
mentioned, he works at UCLA. He’s a Professor of Human Complex Systems there. Several Googlers
have been through his program, which is exciting. He is also the author, or co-author, of ten
books on personality type. In fact, his latest is called “The Neuroscience of Personality.” And it is hot off the presses and I highly
recommend it. He has some books here for sale, here in Mountain View, for any of you folks
that are interested. You can buy those from Yosha here in the back at any point. They’re
24 dollars plus two dollars tax. Dario is also the owner and publisher of Radiance House,
which is a publishing company for authors of system, games, and personality. So check that out whenever you get a chance.
Today, based on his groundbreaking research, Dario is really gonna clue us in on what are
those patterns of personality type, or brain activity, that correlate with personality
type. And what does that mean for us, personally, in terms of how we tend to interact. And also, how we can flex our style to meet
others more clearly where they are. So, without further ado. Oh, actually let me say one more
thing. As the structure of this presentation will be such that it’ll be an hour of Dario
presenting to us and then we’ll have 20 minutes from 10 AM here in Mountain View to 10:20
for questions. So, you’re welcome to ask those here in Mountain
View and as well on VC. We have someone taking questions via chat. You can ping your questions
to Nedi Sharma, and that’s nsharma, S-H-A-R-M-A. So, feel free to do that and Nedi will represent
your questions here in the room. That’s it. Welcome, Dario.>>Dario: Fantastic. Thank you. [applause] Thank you everyone for coming this morning.
And it’s my pleasure to share with you what is the culmination of five years of lab research,
first hand, looking at brain activity. Primarily of college students. So, you know what that
age range is, right? But it’s 18 to 25 actually, so that may include
some of you. And you’re generally spending two to three hours with each student. So,
across a whole bunch of different activities , among those activities are going to be whatever
is their big interest or expertise. So in other words, allowing them, if they’re
actually a drummer, they’d come in and play with their drums and to see what happens with
that, in addition to the usual things. And what’s come out of that, primarily, everyone
is different. I mean, truly that comes out. There’s this individual difference that’s
there. And the other thing that has come out of it, there really are these patterns that
are consistent for an individual and those patterns correlate very well with the student’s
best fit personality type selection. Keeping in mind that personality type is, itself a
model that we have in our minds in order to help us simplify the people we encounter and
how we work and so on. It’s really interesting to see that yes, there
actually is something to it and has some grounding with it. And here we go. OK. What I hope you’re
gonna get out of today is some idea of the research. Now, I usually do a whole-day workshop
on this. In fact, folks have been pushing for me to
do two days because there really is a tremendous amount, not just of information, but of applications
that come out of it. But it’ll give you a little bit of an idea, an hour of what’s fun.
And, oh my voice is changing as I talk. [laughter] Perhaps there’s, OK. I know I won’t talk too
loud otherwise there’s reverb in it. Numerous implications for how you and other operate.
Maybe give you a little bit of an idea of what that is. And then I’m gonna focus on different ways
that we can enter the state of creative flow. And this is a state that might last anywhere
from just a few seconds to ten minutes, or even longer. And what are those kinds of things,
activities, that lead us into this state. This is my lab. It’s actually pretty informal.
It’s not some fancy dark space somewhere with lots of equipment. There’s no Frankenstein
here. And in fact, what you don’t see is there’s a beautiful set of windows like you all have
in the building next door in the cafeteria. So, students can look out and they see like
the squirrels and the trees. And it turns out that’s actually very important. So for
the students who identify with one of the SP personality types–so they have S and P
in their code–they actually show more brain activity when they’re looking out the window
than they are doing the tasks that I give in front of them. And if they’re standing and looking out the
window, then that’s even more so. So, that reminds us how important windows are to some
people, looking out at nature and the patterns that are there. Otherwise, students wear this
little red cap right here. And we, they put on the cap and it has these little pickups. It doesn’t shock them or anything like that.
It’s a purely passive device. And then, we take a nice little syringe, but I show them
the syringe is blunt, and inject water soluble gel throughout all of that. And the gel helps
maintain a connection between the pickups and the skull, so that even as they move around,
it’s going to be picking up the electromagnetic activity on the surface of the brain. And that actually is remarkable that that
information is detectable, even through our skull. We might get an idea then, of how strong
those signals are. So, they sit there for a couple of hours. And we also do a few things.
This is an inadvertent advertisement for V8. I didn’t plan on that. And sometimes the students
come in and they know each other and there’s this friendly social environment and I also
include confederates at times. So, individuals who come in that the subject doesn’t know.
And none of this is formal study. I’ve done one formal study. But primarily,
I want there to be an open-ended discovery environment. What I say in my book is that
all of this material and research for the past five years is like one giant, really,
really big rich pilot study. This is what I see at my end. And this is the color representation of what’s
going on in the brain in real-time. So, I’m using a technology called EEG, or electroencephalogram.
And it divides up the brain here into various regions that roughly match where there are
different lobes and fissures in the brain. So, it isn’t completely arbitrary mapping.
And I see this nice color representation. And it’s more than color. There’s actually
two pieces of information. There’s the color, which indicates frequency. And then, there’s
the length of the bar here, which indicates amplitude. So, after I spend two or three hours with
the student there may actually be something like 60 megabytes worth of data on their brain
activities. So, that’s a statistician’s nightmare. And fortunately, I’m not a statistician.
So I don’t have to deal with all of that. And so, that’s a little bit of what I see
from my end. And it does change in real-time. But the really funny thing is the brain activity
comes about 300 milliseconds before the person executes the action or behavior associated
with the brain activity. So, as I’m watching–and you would see it, too–you would actually
see something light up in the brain and think for a moment, “Oh, the person’s about to do
such and such.” But by the time that thought occurs to you,
they’ve already gone ahead and done it. So, it’s a little bit like mind reading, but there’s
such a short period of time, that mind-reading is not that helpful. There’s no time to take
notes or anything like that, or even say anything. It’s just enough time for it to register in
my brain, which coincidentally between perception and the thought, the matching is also about
the same amount of time. So, it’s a really wonderful, very quick–. When they’re doing
mathematics for example, and they’re going to carry the one, you can see that ’cause
the brain does something. So, to summarize what it is that I’m working
with here, electroencephalogram, and it’s measuring activity in the neocortex only.
So, there are different layers of the brain and this is the outer layer. Really, really
important in human beings. Our neocortex is huge compared to even the other great apes
and certainly monkeys on down to very, very small neocortex compared to what we have. It’s fast. It’s simple. It’s cheap. Contrary
to what people might think, professors are paid terribly and we very little funding except
for the few who somehow manage to wrangle up something. So, it’s great to some research
that doesn’t cost ten or twenty thousand a student. The different colors. Know that red–. It
follows the color spectrum, so red indicates that that region is showing the most activity
there. And if we go down then from yellow, that’s a little bit less. Green, less still,
but on the low end. Blue, much less. That’s a relaxed state. If the brain were all blue, that would indicate
you’re on the edge of sleep. You might even be aware, but you’re not active in any way.
And then black indicates no activity. And yes, something that’s really interesting is
most people have one or two regions, even after I go through and calibrate and whatnot,
one or two regions that simply show no activity except under the greatest duress or stimulus. So, as we go through the different regions,
I mentioned those, you might consider which ones, not only do you use or prefer a lot,
which ones do you not use? It also could have higher resolution than it does. But it’s the
way it goes. What do I have people do? I have two to three hours. So, plenty of time. Usually 30 to 45 minutes,
we spend doing more introverted activities. So, they do meditation. They solve math problems.
A whole bunch of fun–. [feedback sounds] Feedback. In the land of feedback.>>Female Presenter: There you go.>>Dario Nardi: There we go. OK. I know, there’s
like a boundary space here. OK. So, we’re playing games–card games, word games. They
do physical tasks like juggling. They might juggle by themselves or they have a partner
to do it with. Math problems, analogies. And many of these are laid out so that the
math start easy and get more difficult. Or with the juggling, we start with one ball
and then it moves up to more of them. Communications is speed dating, both real and virtual. So,
how does the brain interact when we are interested in someone or not? And some actually really funny anecdotes that
have come out of that. I can tell when a student is sitting there and they really like the
person they’re with or not so interested. And I remember this one time, I could tell
this student had seen–. He had been on real dates, essentially, real speed dates, five
minutes each. And this was the third girl in a row. And
it was clear from the brain activity–I’m sitting like, 20 feet away from them–but
it’s clear from the brain activity that he’s interested. He’s attentive in a variety of
ways. And then all of a sudden out of the blue, in the conversation that they’re having,
she mentions that her whole family has converted to Evangelical Christianity. And in that one moment, all of the interest
disappeared. [laughter] And then we all had to laugh, even though
we’re try and keep quiet until the end of the task. And they’re like, “What? What’s
going on?” So, we explained it. And she said, “Oh, that’s actually not me or even my immediate
family.” Because what she meant, she was from Latin America. So when she said her family, she meant like
her 30 closest relatives. And even not her immediate family. So the definition of family
was different. And so then you would think after explaining that this was something that
OK, maybe he might be more open. He wasn’t. His brain never regained that level of interest.
Although, they both remember the event to this day, which is interesting. First impressions
are very important. And so, be careful about what you say on your first date. No sex, no
politics, no religion, no death. And you’ll be good. So, they also do simulated speed dating and
they do a role play with actors. A couple of ENFP theater students have come in concocted
a variety of situations. Recalling items on a list. Details in a scene. And then some
open-ended stuff, like go back to your childhood, or foresee into the future or where is your
life gonna be ten years from now. And we might think with something like this,
maybe its memory. So, recall an event from your childhood that maybe there will be visualization
and a little bit of memory regions. But there are some individuals who stand out as recalling
information in a very special way. And some individuals who visualize the future
in a very special way. So, all of them have this potential to show individual differences.
And, oops. There we go. So this is an example of an easy open-ended task. What comes to
mind? And a lot of folks will mention stories as we go along. Maybe what are some possible interpretations
of the story? Something telling is how many different interpretations can a person give.
Some folks are like, “Well, there’s one and maybe two.” And then they peter out. And others
can continue on for a while and be able to offer different scenarios. I mean, perhaps she’s upset because she’s
just poisoned him. And there’s a whole bunch of things you could read into it. And then,
they think the task is over, but it’s not. Fifteen minutes later, we come back to it.
I don’t show them the picture, though. I just say, “Remember that picture I showed you?
Could you recall for me as many details as you can?” And so, they remember the details. And the
things they don’t mention, I’ll say something like, “Does the dress go down to her ankles,
to her knees? Does it cover her feet?” All that kind of stuff. And really is amazing.
It’s very consistent with personality type who remembers more. In fact, it’s great because there are–. One
type, all of the ENFJ and ENTJ, if we have any of those in the room. Those two personality
types actually remember a lot of details, but incorrectly. [laughter] So, it’s important to know. Otherwise, the
SP types are the ones who actually remember the most. And which I found maybe people thought
that was a little bit of a surprise, but I think because there’s a drama in the image
they remember it. So, what I found overall. One is there are these regions of the neocortex
that light up when they’re being used for an activity. And really, each region has what
is called the “threshold to activation.” That if you receive just a little bit of input
and it doesn’t pass that threshold, the region doesn’t light up at all. But the moment you pass the threshold, then
it begins to light up. For some folks, that threshold is very low. So, almost any kind
of stimulus will light it up and the more stimulus they get, the more it gets active.
For other folks the level, the activation to, the threshold activation is much higher. So that there’s a lot of input that will come
in and it doesn’t get active, doesn’t light up, and then all of a sudden it would be really,
really active out of nowhere. So, this region actually is related to embarrassment. Now,
all of us love to be embarrassed, right? [audience chuckles]
Some of us more easily embarrass than others. So, ENFJs for example, the personality type,
are really pretty easy to embarrass. And in fact, you can point out, “Oh, look. The embarrassment
region is lighting up.” And then they get more embarrassed. And then, “Oh, look. You’re
getting even more embarrassed.” And then it lights up even more. And other
folks very, very difficult to activate. But INTPs, so those are very different folks,
generally speaking, that region is quite dark. They don’t even notice the social feedbacks,
so why would they get embarrassed? But when they do get embarrassed, oh boy, does that
activate. Not just in that region. It floods over like
a little tsunami to all of the neighboring regions as well. And so, it’s funny because
one of the neighboring regions to this area here is the one responsible for dexterity
and for moving smoothly in the environment and having boundaries between self and others. So, if you’ve ever known someone who doesn’t
get embarrassed very often, but when they do, all of a sudden becomes flushed red and
they’re klutzy and that’s those folks there. So, that’s representing how the brain works.
And dark regions indicate what’s not in use has really become automatic. Signing your name should be a pretty easy,
mindless experience. There are various, also, holistic patterns for the whole brain. And
there are zigzag sequences. And so, we’ll take a look at some of those. My environment
here is very dynamic I have to say. [laughter] You’re lighting up and down. We’re in the
brain right here.>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #1: It’s task oriented,
watching the brain.>>Dario Nardi: Yes. Yes. Yeah. We’re inside
the Google brain. So, this is what I was coming with, is I would see–. What I would do over
the two or three hours is I would average the brain activity. That’s not the only thing
I do, but statistically, it makes it really easy when you have 50 or 60 megabytes of data. And these are real people. They’re not their
real names. But I have Maria and Ross here. And they happen to identify with the these
particular personality types. And I had ten weeks to let them get to this best fit process.
So, I felt that was very important in doing research. If you’re gonna make connections to personality,
you better make sure that it’s an accurate connection. And again, red regions are the
most active. And then yellow and going all the way down–green, blue, and then black.
And they look quite different from each other, don’t they? Really, really quite different. But one thing
we notice is that the–I’ll point to this one. I’m afraid of walking too far over there.
This region here, this one here, there’s really on average no brain activity, which is remarkable.
But there’s this nice halo. And this is very light because it’s just blue, light activity. This little bridge across the halo here. Others
might describe it as the rim of a volcano, but because she happens to identify with INFP
and I think INFPs prefer the halo metaphor, as good and evil. [laughter] Over here, you can see the letters are very
different. So, even if you’re not that up to date with the Myers-Briggs terminology,
it’s absolutely fine. You can tell that I versus E and N versus S, F versus T. They’re
pretty different from each other. And in the interior here, they’re practically mirror
images. At the same time I was doing these experiments,
I was also reading quite a bit about what others have discovered, primarily using EEG,
but other technologies like fMRI as well, what these different regions tend to do. And
as I mentioned, the regions are a little bit arbitrary. But we could be more fine-grained about it.
So, sometimes there’s some overlap in what goes on. But I wanted to know. So, what does
this mean? They’re showing these consistent use of these regions. Does this say anything
about their personality? I did discover, and we’ll just point out the red regions here,
that on this side here, this is for listening to words, specifically. So, diction, grammar, word selection. Not
like a logical word selection, necessarily, but at least what fits grammatically. Over
here on this side, at least for right-handed folks, this is about tone of voice. So, listening
to tone of voice. So, part of tone of voice, there’s a little region around here that branches
over to this area slightly, which is responsible for evaluating intention, motivation. So if you ever wonder how come I better assess
people’s intentions, will hopefully stimulate the neighboring area. Get that, pay attention
to tone of voice and what’s going on there. So, when people emphasize words, that’ll tell
you right there. You also notice this region up here is red. This does two different things. And this actually
was really well flushed out by the work with autism because autistic individuals tend to
have a lot more activity here than on this side. And this region, one that handles how
much you like or dislike something. So, when a musician would come in and he would say
“my guitar” and “my music.” Every time he would say “my guitar” and “my
music,” this region would light up–whatever happens to be important to you. Now, some
people will say a meta-type of statement. So, they’d be like “my values.” And that will
light it up as well. The region also handles something else. It really gets active when people remember
detailed information accurately. And at first, this was thought to be a little bit strange.
Like, why is it that something for like and dislike, belief, and in fact, this region
is also associated with religious beliefs. When people talk about their religious beliefs,
your religious beliefs, this region gets active, too. Why would it also be related to detail? But
if you tease it apart, you understand really quickly what’s going on. If something is important
to you, it’s not just happens to be important say, here today at Google. It’s something
that is important generally speaking across your life, no matter what situation it is. And so, you take those beliefs with you as
something that holds across different contexts. The reason this region gets active around
detail is a lot of the time, people get information. And then we ask, “What did you do earlier
this morning?” You may not remember every detail. You don’t need to because you can fill in
with context. It’s like, were there other cars on the road this morning? You probably
weren’t paying attention to specifically, was somebody gonna ask me later how many cars
did I see, but you can guess pretty well based on context and past experience. But guessing based on context is handled on
the other side. When this side is more active, it’s again about, “we’re not gonna pay attention
to context”–this idea that something that holds across situations. So, if we forget
about context, we’re not gonna do any guessing in context. We’re always gonna think something is true
no matter what. Now we understand why this region is really good with detail because
the detail–we’re not trying to fill in the blanks or do guessing. It’s just what we remember
and that’s it. Finally, this region over here. So this is right up here on the front. This
is really, really important, this region, on both sides. These are the executives. Sometimes
we can think of them as CEOs. Now, what is a company like when it has two CEOs of equal
power and authority? Well, that’s a really interesting question, actually, to ask at
this company. [laughter] But it’s a little bit different. People still
have defined roles. And there’s a difference between founders and then all the responsibilities
that happen for day to day. And it can work out. But for the most part, people have a
preference for one side or the other–either this executive or this executive, even if
they’re right-handed. So, the stereotype is all right-handed folks
are more active on this left side over here, but that’s actually not the case. It has more
to do with personality type than it does handedness. This region here is for explaining and deciding.
So, if I give you three fingers, which finger do you like the most?>>FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #2: Not the middle
one.>>Dario Nardi: OK. So it’s gonna be this one
here. OK, good choice. OK. And then, why did you select that one?>>FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #2: It’s very useful.>>Dario Nardi: Very useful. OK, where you
can point with it and this and that and it’s not the middle one. So, you’ve made a choice.
You’ve done some decision-making and you gave an explanation. We might think, “Oh, was that
a logical explanation you gave?” But if you actually had to work out the logic
as you were speaking, like, the situation would go on. But it takes so long to work
out the logic of “is that really the logical choice?” So, most of the time, we don’t actually
use our whole brain. It feels like we’re thinking and making logical
decisions, but actually it’s just the executive making up something that sounds perfectly
reasonable and it’s pretty workable. And that’s what goes on with this region right here.
So, I suppose you could say INFPs are really good at coming up with reasons and explanations
and making long-term life decisions that revolve around their personal identity and values. And they’re very good at listening and working
with words, whether those are literal words and composition, word choice, or perhaps reading.
It’s not just writing. It’s reading as well. And also attentive to tone of voice and intentionality.
And so, if you’re a little bit aware of Myers-Briggs, great. That sounds like a good match with INFP, especially
when we notice that the yellow sections over here, that these are related to the areas
of asking “What if?” And visualizing some possibilities. And down here, this is also
noticing visual impressions. If you don’t know Myers-Briggs, I’ve actually given you
a pretty good description of INFP in terms of their capabilities, or their skill set. This was really wonderful to see that match
that was there. Conversely, ESTP. I won’t go into detail about this one, but you can
see that the other executive is the one that’s more in charge. And this side over here, this
side here, is much more about managing process, for allowing more information in and dwelling
on that information and allowing it to affect what it is that you do. These regions here are for logical reasoning.
So, if A equals B and B equals C, than–>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #3: A equals C.>>Dario Nardi: A equals C. Yes. Absolutely.
So this region will hopeful–. No, that’s a little bit. Folks already know that, so
they don’t need to think too much about it. But if you really wanna go through that logical
branching, this is the region that is gonna be really fantastic for that. Over here, a great example would be a porpoise,
is that a mammal or a fish? It’s a mammal. Yes. In fact, you would even think it’s strange
to mix those categories that are there. This region is about weighing. Something comes
in and it has a spacial relationship, actually. There’s thousands potentially of categories
and sub-categories. Where does something fit when it comes in? What is the category that
it fits well in? Down here, this is for weighing odds for risk and uncertainty. So, you go
to Vegas and you want to know is this a better game or is this a better game? And if I put this amount, how much money do
I lose? But if I could put this amount, I might lose something. So, there’s all these
different options and there’s these risks and uncertainties there and weighing those
all at once. You see this is very active for economics graduate students. And then there’s not just me. Like, this is
known in the literature. This is very active for econ graduate students. And so, right
there, we can just see by these red regions here that I’ve given you some idea of the
analytical skills of ESTP. Maybe they don’t show them all the time. Notice that none of these here are connected
to–. Well, I suppose there’s a little bit of adjacency over here and a little bit here
on the corners, but they’re not immediately adjacent to the speaking areas. So they may
not necessarily verbalize what they’re saying. It goes on in the interior of the neocortex.
I think this is the part where I normally ask if there are any questions. I don’t think
I’ve lost anyone. OK. I also know I’m supposed to count to five after I ask if there are
any questions. It’s a good rule to know. Yes.>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #4: If you just looked
at an EEG of some person, like, that has color dye.>>Dario Nardi: Mm-hmm.>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #4: Can you quantify
them into the 16 boxes of the Myers-Briggs personality?>>Dario Nardi: Yes. Right. Right. Right. Repeat
the question. If I were to just see–. Oh, I already advanced this for a moment go back
here. If I were to just see this activity–. I would say if I’m sitting there at the computer,
I’ll have some ideas. If I were to get the statistical average it would give me a much
better idea. Would I be able to guess the person’s Myers-Briggs
type? And I would say quite a bit of the time, yes. Right away there’s the, is this side
or this side more active? That will immediately narrow down from 16 to eight. And from there,
I might do something like, are one or more of these regions on the interior active that
indicates an interest in–it’s called introverted thinking. It’s not the same as being an introvert with
the thinking preference, but we’ll get to that. Do they have a lot of listening? The
same folks who show a lot of activity in the middle here, tend to have a lot less listening.
So, that would be a sort right there as well. I’ve seen the halo a number of times. I’ve had seven INFP subjects and you can pretty
well tell them, not just from this activity here, but what I’m also gonna describe is
the whole brain activity that happens. And no, I would say though still, everyone is
unique. Like, that’s why I start with Maria, who happens, in parenthesis, to identify with
INFP. ‘Cause I’ve had other INFPs, let’s say one
who does sports, and he had much more activity in this region here, which would be very useful
for doing sports. So, a person’s background and their skill sets will definitely do it.
So, I’m just gonna–. I’m not gonna go through all of this, but give you a sense of what
it is that ends up on this chart. Everything that I put up here is both found
in the literature, so not by me. Other people have located these things. And I saw it. It
worked out in my lab from the lab data. And I didn’t want to talk about anything that
wouldn’t meet those two criteria. I thought it was really important to be able to say,
“Yes, this is happening here on someone and I’ve seen it for real.” Otherwise, it’s so easy to draw connection
between what I read and thinking like, “Oh, yeah. That sounds like such and such.” The
other thing you’ll notice, you may have stumbled across some theories about maybe people are
more left-brained or right-brained if they use more of one quadrant of the brain over
the other. Sorry. Our brains are much more complex and interesting
than just having a simple left and right or different quadrants, something like that.
Like, all these regions, and really, these are the results of evolutionary forces. So
sometimes you have things grouped together in you’re like, “Well, why aren’t these neighbors?” I don’t know. That’s just the way it worked
out. And down here, this section on doing mathematics and integrating vision and sensation,
that also comes as reading. I had a woman from Saudi Arabia asking, “Why is it that
going to a Koranic school where they memorize–. They read the Koran and they memorize it and
repeat it verbally. Why is it that it improves their ability in mathematics?” I said this
actually is really not a surprise because reading and math and both, especially rote
mathematics–so what is five times five, kind of thing–and reading are both really heavily
associated with this one region right here. And so, there was a natural carry over between
those. This is a favorite for folks who use the personality type to explain preference.
And I thought, “Oh, this will be really great example. I’ll just try this in the lab and
see what happens.” And I was actually ended being really shocked. This one exercise turns out to be a fantastic
sorter between S in the code or N in the code. So, I asked them to sign their name with their
preferred hand. And then I asked them to sign again. Actually they do several things. They
sign again with their non-preferred hand and then they sign again backwards, but with their
preferred hand. And then sign yet again, a fourth time, backwards
with their non-preferred hand. And the expectation, we might think is a common sense hypothesis,
that signing your name should not require too much work. And it won’t evoke too much
brain activity. But signing your name again with your non-preferred hand backwards will
definitely, it should evoke more activity, right? You’re trying to figure out which letter comes
next and you have to work your hand, knowing how to be left-handed about it and how does
it go. So, I thought well, this is gonna be easy. I’m just gonna demonstrate signing with
your non-preferred hand takes more work in the brain. And I was wrong. I wasn’t completely wrong.
It turns out that folks who have an intuiting preference, so they have an N in their type
code, that that holds true. They try harder with the second activity. For folks who have
sensing preference, they have an S in their code, it’s actually the reverse. That signing their name, you see some brain
activity. And when I asked them to do, sign backwards with your non-preferred hand, it
doesn’t really show any activity. Now why might that be? Well, as one student said–he
had a sensing preference–“Signing your name backwards with your non-preferred hand, that’s
just some random, weird fun activity to do. Like, that doesn’t have any meaning to it.
Like when would I do that in real life?” So, there was no attempt. It’s not important,
which really highlighted to me that motivation. It’s not just about competence. It’s about
motivation as well. Whereas for some of the sensing preference, often signing your name
really nicely is important to them. They don’t just randomly repeat it. There’s
actually some brain activity that goes into it. And that got me thinking that maybe there’s
something interesting going on. And then I really tried that out more. And I had a student
who knew French and Arabic and English. And I said, “Fantastic.” And he’s very good
at English. You wouldn’t know that Arabic was his original native language. And I said,
“Could you write your name in Arabic backwards with your non-preferred hand in addition to
writing it the usual way.” And he had an intuiting preference. So, I thought, “Writing his name in Arabic,
it’s gonna be no brain activity. And writing his name backwards in Arabic, it’ll evoke
more brain activity.” Didn’t happen. Why not? I said, “You didn’t show any brain activity
here.” After we debriefed the task. What happened? And he said, “Well, none of you in the lab
can read Arabic, so it didn’t matter how I wrote.” [laughter] So, it really was–. I’m like, “Oh. Of course.”
So really, the motivation and context do play an essential part in how it is that we use
our brains. So, competence plus motivation together. And that’s then what I call this
engagement curve. Being engaged means being competent and/or
motivated, preferably and. I think we can be somewhat engaged if we have competence
just because–. I don’t really, I’m not like a big math nerd or something, but I did a
lot of math. I did probably three solid years of calculus–linear algebra and the matrices
and all that kind of stuff as an engineering student. I don’t remember any of it. I recognize what
part of the book I need to look to understand to do it, but that’s it. So yeah, I could
do that. Also, somebody could be motivated and terrible at it, but they’re gonna try.
But ideally, it’s both. So engaging activities evoke progressively more brain activity as
challenge and motivation increase. So, assuming the student is motivated to do
the math problems and not look like a fool because they can’t subtract 17 from 34. As
the problems get more challenging, this curve will move up, assuming they’re motivated.
The moment they reach the point where they’re like, “Oh, I don’t know this math. I can’t
do it.” And they give up on it. The motivation is
lost. There’s an instant drop in brain activity. So, it really could go in a particular, several
regions. One, two, three. Goes from blue to green to yellow to finally some red that’s
there. And it just drops off to black. Nothing. So, if I said, “Please all of you now take
a moment to sign your name in Urdu.” There might be one person who can, OK? But for most
of you, probably not. So I think that’s really important and that’s one of the things that
I hear about ’cause I don’t see it firsthand, but I hear Google really is very welcoming
for their employees to have time to do their own projects, which is great because presumably
you’re motivated to do your own projects. And you’re picking something that you have
some competence in. So, that is going to engage you and get you in there. Now I’m talking
about some of these holistic activities. This is–. It comes out a light blue. It’s darker
blue here. It should be like the color of the sky because the brightness reflects something
as well as just the frequency of the color. This is every region is in sync with every
other region. All of them have the same, or dominated by the same frequency and amplitude
of electromagnetic activity. What does that mean? That means it’s not just a mansion filled
with rooms and each person is doing their own thing. It’s everybody’s in sync and working with
everyone else. People can maintain this for a few seconds. So, you win at a hand of cards,
or even just the process of shuffling cards may evoke this. Or, it may remain there for
two minutes, three minutes, ten minutes, whatever it is. And when doing a task as an expert–. There’s
actually an exception to this and that relates to two of the personality types. But let’s
take a look at what are those activities. What the question that you might consider
as we look through these, are any of these like what you do? And it was interesting because somebody asked
me, “Do people know when they’re in the state of flow?” Sort of, do we have some kind of
self-reflective intuition? Something like that. I don’t think so from my lab. Like,
none of them could report when they thought they showed this or not. So then, I think it’s important to then–.
Actually, this is an example why knowing personality type would be really helpful because in general,
these were associated with either your skill area, like music or dance, something like
that, or they were related to the person’s personality type. Acting. By following a highly rehearsed scene–.
So, we had an actor, an EFNP actor by the way, and when he did a cold reading it didn’t
show up. And when he did improvisational acting, it didn’t show up either. It was only doing–.
What ENFPs love to do, right, which is lots of memorization and rehearsal? No. But that’s when they reach the state of flow
is after he really forced himself to spend all this time repetitions, doing practice.
Describing the ultimate meaning of why people live or die. So, I give out this little news
article and usually I read it to the person. And it’s a fictitious article and it’s about
something sad that reflects a little bit of your responsibility from one of the people
mentioned in the article. And after I read it–. And it involves death.
And after I read it, I ask people to use one or two words to describe how you feel right
now. And most people will say, “I’m sad,” or “I’m angry,” or some combination thereof.
However, this one student with ENFJ preferences, E-N-F-J, refused to answer with one or two
emotions. She said, “That’s too easy. That’s childish.”
It would be so easy to just say I’m angry or I’m sad. So she began to give a philosophical
reason for why people are put on the earth and what are our responsibilities to each
other as human beings. And all the while, while she’s giving me this and answer and
drawing from the article and composing a response that fits with her philosophy, there was solid
blue. Every region was participating, contributing,
to her philosophical response. In contrast, by the way, her opposite type, ISTP, I had
a student like that recently. I read the same article and asked the same questions. And
the ISTP, she said to me–. I asked, “How do you feel in one or two words.” And she said, “I feel nothing.” She says,
“I wasn’t there. It didn’t involve anyone I know. I haven’t really had time to think
about how I feel.” So I think that was even, even not just looking at brain activity, but
just listening and watching how people do activities in the lab and the kind of responses
they give are–. It never occurred to me that someone would
have no emotional response to it. She said “if you give me some time to think about it
and I read it over again, I can give you an emotional response.” That’s sort of, you have
to manufacture where you send it to the plant and they make it and bring it back. [laughter] My younger brother has ISTP preferences and
he used to do a lot of track racing and I asked him after a win how he felt. And he
said, “I think I feel happy.” I’m like, “But how do you feel?” [laughter] Drumming a familiar beat. So, we had a drummer
and when she drummed her favorite familiar beat, not other times, but when she did that.
Handling a dramatic crisis in a role play scenario. So, this is what I’ve seen with
all the types with S and P in their code, especially ESFP and ESTP. As the actors come in, the theater students,
they can get up. So the subject can get up. They can’t swivel their head around a lot.
I discourage that, but otherwise they can move a little bit. And they’re engaged in
a crisis role play and they like getting into it. They absolutely do. And they’re very creative.
They pick topics that I would never think of, involving–. Well, I won’t even get into
it. Things that are not repeatable here. But they know Dario was cool and will be OK with
it. [audience chuckles] So, as they get into it, they go from having brain activity about
listening and seeing and so on, and all of a sudden, as it ramps up the crisis, their
brain show a little blue here and blue there and some regions starting to hold and then
disappear. And then they just hold like this, really
tightly. And they remain there for two or three minutes until the crisis began to resolve
itself and then it would slowly start to come apart again. So, the ability to be in a state
of flow with a crisis–and they didn’t know what was gonna happen next. So I wouldn’t say that that was an area of
expertise, except maybe they’re good at crisis management and good at role play in the situations.
Listening intently to somebody else. I’ve had some students who can debate contentious
topics, like gun control. And by some, I mean only the INFPs. And maybe some ISFPs a little bit as well.
So, those are two types that have a lot of similarities to each other. They’re good listeners.
One student, he sat–. And you know normally, when we hear something we disagree with, what
is our natural response? It’s to come up with counter arguments, even as the other person
is still speaking. ‘Cause we sorta guess what they’re gonna say
and we come up with again with what is our own view. He didn’t do that. For ten solid
minutes, whether he was speaking or whether his argument, opponent, his opponent in the
argument was speaking, he remained, every region was in the state of awake, but alert. And then finally, after ten minutes that pattern
broke. And there was a lot of activity in the left prefrontal areas as he decided and
explained his final opinion. And he’s like, “I gave you ten minutes to give me your point
of view and I really did consider it.” So, that’s what I mean by truly active listening.
“And now, I have decided my perspective on it.” And that was the end of listening. So,
I would say with folks who are really good listeners, keep in mind they’re not always
really good listeners. Once they make up their mind that’s it. And it’s great to see. Now I also had one
student. He would only show the pattern of active listening when he listened to me and
another professor. So, this was about the central authority figures. Anyone know someone
like that? Yeah, what did the authority say? I also had one student who would only listen
that way to women, but not to men. And it was really funny ’cause he and his fraternity
brother were both in the lab. So, his fraternity brother could back this up. The fraternity
brothers made fun of him. They were always, “Kareem, you never listen.
I mean, you never listen. You never do any chores. You don’t remember to do anything
when say stuff to you. It just goes in one ear and out the other.” And he said that just
didn’t make sense. And he was saying, “I have all these female friends.” He has, like to him, just keeping to one date
is difficult because they all want to date him. And all of them, he says, “My female
friends me, they’re like, ‘Kareem, you’re a fantastic listener.'” And now we know why.
He enters a state of active flow when he’s listening to women, but not to men. Maybe he might wanna work on that. I don’t
know. Pointing while talking, or using a finger. I always noticed my mom when she would read.
She uses–. She never took a speed reading class, but she uses her finger to read. And
one time I asked her, “Why do you do that?” And she said, “It helps me focus.” I’m like,
“OK.” I don’t feel like I need to use my finger and I can focus. But I’ll trust that it works
for you. So, I saw a student do this in the lab of a similar type and I said, “Hey, what’s
going on?” And he said, “Oh, it helps me focus.” And so, the whole–. His finger was there.
It was all blue. He takes the finger away. All of a sudden it breaks up into pretty much
nothing. I say, “OK. Now reapply your finger.” It’s suddenly blue again. “Take your finger
away.” I mean, really is like that fast. That’s the great thing about EEG. It’s like, instant. And I’m like, “Wow. Make
sure you don’t lose those fingers. And don’t give them away to somebody else.” [laughter] You want that. That’s a good thing to know.
So then there are all these other things that came up. Reviewing the past or visualizing
the future. If I asked you what your life is like or going to be ten years from now. The natural tendency is to think about what
we’d like to happen or what stereotypically happens to people, or logically what will
probably happen. But some people really open up. Every region of the brain gets involved
in this state of flow. So, it’s a coordinated, synchronized contribution to say, “Yes, what
will happen in the future.” Or, for the past. The same thing. Review your
life, something that happened to you say, 20 years ago or–. Well, the students didn’t
necessarily live that long. They won’t remember. But, when they were kids. See, this is, I
think, where some of the stuff really began that might be relevant for you. Singing a unique song. So, the student was
a musician playing guitar. He’s a professional singer and guitar player. Singing other songs
did not evoke that flow, only when he did his own. Singing other songs, there would
be like this motor activity that goes on with the hands and so on–kinesthetic activity
and some auditory. But it was doing his own stuff. For the entire
song, he’d remain in that state. And I’ve seen this time and again that when the students
would do things that were directly related, was a unique product. So that’s why I say
it’s more than expertise. A lot of times it’s creative expertise, as
what the person has done individually, that really evokes that state. They internalized
it and made their own. In fact, one student, she was a dancer for 15 years–from age three
to age 18. So, that’s probably pretty burnt into the brain. All she had to do was sit back and relax,
close her eyes and visualize dancing. And every region of her brain was in sync with
every other. Now, sometimes this has interesting implications. I had a student sorting between
his parents wanted him to go to dental school and he wants to be a rap musician. Very different. And I guess the parent’s feel
like we’ve paid for you to go to UCLA. Like, you’re gonna graduate and become a dentist.
And he comes from a Persian family. And if you may know, Persian families tend to be
very–how can we say–hands on with their kids in guiding them. And when we talked about dentistry, that didn’t
really evoke any–. Even in this region up here about importance. It just did not evoke
anything. When he did his own rap songs that he had made up. So this is really funny ’cause
this is like a Persian guy, 20 years old, and he’s singing like, ghetto rap songs. And even his own versions. And he went into
this total state of blue creative flow. So I just reported that to him that “you do seem
to have some kind of special affinity, talent, expertise, creative expertise with this.”
I understand it’s been like, four years since he’s graduated and he’s been studying for
the dental exams for those four years. Hasn’t actually gone to dental school yet.
There are also some other patterns. And these are hilarious, actually. ‘Cause people ask,
“Well, OK. So we could be solid blue. What does that mean?” What happens when a person
holds a state that was solid? And this doesn’t happen all the time. But you can usually find it somewhere. And
it’s not just me, OK? This is in the literature. Watching television evokes almost no brain
activity in the neocortex. I’ve seen two exceptions. And I did a whole like, very structured research
study with a student, with randomized introduction of film clips and so on. All very nicely done. The APA would love me
for it. I did all the right things. Only two things. If you’re familiar with the movie
“Memento.” So, the movie “Memento” follows a man who, his short-term memory doesn’t write
itself into long-term memory. And it’s filmed in such a way that you experience some of
the same confusion that the character does. That evokes some brain activity. Everything
else, from–. Well, the other thing is there was an ending scene in the first Charlie’s
Angels movie, which has each of four different protagonists, each in a different location,
fighting somebody different and we’re just thrown as a viewer into the middle of all
of these different shots and cuts. So, it takes a while for the viewer to figure
out who’s where and what is it that they’re doing. All the other ten examples from Texas
Chainsaw Massacre to Teletubbies evoke no brain activity. So, what I tell parents “if
you have a choice between TV and video games, at least let your kids play video games.” That’s so much better than TV. Now, green.
What happens when it’s solid green? When they’re doing speed dating and you dislike someone,
it’s green. When a person is engaged in an argument. Now, if they get really active in
the argument, it might look like this, but a lot of the times it’ll just have quite a
bit of green. Losing at a game of cards. And I began to
think about, OK, if these and other situations, I said, “What did they all have in common?”
And I would debrief them after the activity. It has a disassociation in common. Disassociation
means, in psychological terms, that you don’t want to feel your bodily sensations and your
emotions. You want to separate yourself from what’s
going on so that the cognition is separate from all those impulses and emotions that
might sway you. And it does make sense. I mean, if you don’t like someone, you don’t
want to feel the feeling of disliking them. How about losing at a card game? Anyone wanna dwell in that feeling of loss
and failure? No. Focus thinking though, also helps. And sometimes I saw the reverse in
card games. A person would lose and all of a sudden, it was solid green. OK. And then
they would win. And it would be solid green. Unfortunately, I debriefed them and then they’re
saying, “Well, I thought I’m just gonna try and redouble my effort.” And so there was
this focus thinking a lot. In contrast is a solid yellow. This is a great sort for doing
sensing. That doesn’t mean you only show it if you have an S in your type code. But when any of us, ’cause we all can do,
it’s about preference. Like, I have right hand, left hand. I can use both. I might have
a preference for my right hand, but I use both. So, people use both intuiting and sensing,
both thinking and feeling. But people would show this when they really like somebody,
when they’re really feeling bodily sensations. Like, I asked them to close their eyes and
they’re listening to music and to feel the beat. When they win at a game of cards. As
I begin to add all these things together, I realize a lot of this is being in an associated
state. When you really allow those body sensations and those emotions from the mid-brain and
from the body to well up and influence your thinking and to experience those. Finally, when it’s solid red. So, this is
the highest frequency possible. This is like when the mercury on the thermometer goes all
the way up to like, what do they max out at? Like 120 degrees Fahrenheit? Fahrenheit, for
those of you who are in countries who use Celsius, which is probably just about everyone,
right? Hyper stimulated is when it shows. I took
all my setup to Burning Man. I know some executives from Google go to Burning Man every year.
They get flown in, too. That’s so nice. They don’t have to wait in line for three hours
in a car. Burning Man is–. How many of you know about Burning Man? Oh, wow. Almost every one of you. What a good
company to inform their employees about Burning Man. All three subjects from completely sober
to completely not. And I did this at dusk, which is like the perfect time when there
are lights and sounds and everybody’s getting really active and there’s still enough light
to be able to see what’s going on clearly. All of the brains were at maximum frequency
and amplitude. They couldn’t go any higher on the device. They might have been higher,
but I couldn’t measure it. And in fact, in order to do an activity like saying economic
odds making or something like that, they actually had to come down. So if this region here would go from red down
to green in order to get active. So, hyper stimulated. It’s also been seen in experiments
where people have an “aha” moment. Oh, my God, that’s what you mean. And learning a
new game, especially a game of cards. And so, that’s why I say, OK if your kids.
OK. TV not so much. Video games evokes some brain activity for sure. It depends on the
video game. Do like a board game or a card game. And that evokes even more, especially
if they’re learning a new game. If you keep playing solitaire five hundred times, you’re
not gonna be there. It’s about learning new games. So those are
some of the very broad patterns. Not to oversimplify them, we might consider times when we see
a circuit. So, here is and I’ll see this very quickly and in one second. Da da da da da
da da da. Da da da da da da da da. And it just repeats two or three times. Maybe
even four or five times. It’s just goes around. It’s almost like the person must have some
kind of a superhighway built in. I’m not sure because there’s no connection from here like
this to here. It’s not a typical trunk connection. Either they go this way or they go this way.
But there it goes. It just dances around. And it’s great ’cause they hear words. They’re
going to do some logical evaluation of those words. They’re gonna weigh what the belief
is about those, or maybe how it compares to facts they’ve remembered. And then, they do explanation and decision.
Very fast. The two types that showed this consistently were ENFJ and ENTJ, which are
both known to be very in charge social style. ENFJ being more of an emotional warm and fuzzy
in charge–still in charge, mind you. ENTJ being that’s they get right to it and
implement. And consistently, they have this superhighway built in. So, it’s like a freeway
with no off ramps. Now what does that mean though when they’re presented with new information
that doesn’t fit with this convenient circuit? It’s like you want to stop at that town, but
there’s no off ramp from here to the town. What do you do? Surprise. It highlights that
we have trade-offs when our brain is developing that we specialize in some ways invariably
and therefore, there’s going to be some side effects that come from those. Not just regions we don’t use, but side effects.
This is the last brain pattern we’ll look at. I call this the Christmas tree. And how
it looks on the screen, it’s not static like this is actually keeps moving back and forth
and up and down like the lights on a Christmas tree, except that each light can actually
be a different color. So, this is just one moment in time and then
the next moment, this could be black. And this one will be red. And this one will be
blue. And it just keeps changing all the time. And I saw this with subjects. There’s a few
types who show this quite a bit, almost like a default pattern. For other people who would really become active
when I would give them input. So, I could say to all of you, I could ask you please
visualize a cat and a dog. And most people will show some auditory as they think about
those words. And probably a fair amount of visual and maybe some memory activity. Memory is actually deeper in the mid-brain.
So, sometimes the memory doesn’t show up at all. For these folks, though, if I say cat
and dog, even if I ask them specifically, please visualize a cat and a dog, it could
light up a whole bunch of things. They could be memories of the cat and the dog they had
before. Oh, it’s raining cats and dogs. Let’s see,
I’ve been to many presentations before and some of them are dog presentations and some
of them are cat presentations. Not literally, but in terms of their style. Some people are
dog people. Not just they own dogs, they’re like dogs in a way. That’s what people are like cats. And so,
there’s all of these metaphors and ideas that can come in. And when I give them word play
tests, things like “I know this gal and she married a rock.” Immediately, there are two
possible meanings to that. The literal meaning. They’re walking down the aisle and she has
a rock with her, preferably like on a silver platter or something. That’s the imaginative
answer. And then there’s somebody, she married someone who’s very stoic and quiet and so
on. And so, they’re really quick with those. They think of a lot of them. They don’t necessarily
give the answers right away quickly because what happens with those folks is I’ll give
them something interesting, like she married a rock or–. If I said “desktop computer”
and use that in a sentence. Most people can say, “I went to my office and I cleaned my
desktop computer or I turned it on.” And I say, “OK, that’s great. How about underwear
computer? Use that in a sentence.” Most of us if we work at it, we can think of something.
Some students will say to me, “Oh, that’s not a real thing.” They refuse to do the task.
Others are gonna be like, “Hmm. Underwear computer.” And then they just think, “I have an underwear–.
Dario has given me the phrase underwear computer.” [laughter] I mean, you used it in a sentence, but that
doesn’t really count. For a few students, the ones who show this pattern, they actually
think of like, ten different answers at once. And then it’s really hard for them to pick
which one. They’re like, “Can you give me some time to give you all things I just thought
of?” And then in that time that they said their
brain actually produced like ten more things. And they really can keep on giving those analogies
quick, quick. And so, that really, there’s this wonderful process called “trans contextual
thinking.” The ability to see patterns and relationships in one situation and match those
to many other seemingly very different situations, but where that context still holds. So one of my favorite activities is that they
do these little tasks. And these are very similar. Oh, here’s a much better choice.
OK. So we see these two here. And just for the purpose of demonstration, which one would
you like to date? [laughter]>>Female Presenter: This one.>>Dario Nardi: This one here and why is that?>>Female Presenter: It’s taller.>>Dario Nardi: It’s taller. OK. Ahh, got it.
OK. So by the way, good sign that you’re using trans contextual thinking is that people smile
and/or laugh. That’s like external evidence of what’s going on. And that’s what we just
did. You took it from one context, a set of relationships about being tall or shorter,
fat or thinner, different kind of markers or colors and map those on a completely different
situation. You think it’s useful for creativity? Tremendously
so, to be able to analogize from one kind of situation–. Say, “Hey, is there anything
to learn?” There might be nothing. Just ’cause the relationships match over pretty well,
doesn’t mean that they match smartly. We can compare the atom to the solar system,
but they work a little bit differently. 10:05. OK. It says 57 minutes here. Is that also,
is that on track with it?>>Female Presenter: Yes.>>Dario Nardi: OK. So just to summarize some
things that I found. Various regions do similar tasks for all of us who are right-handed.
And you’re like, “Well, what if I’m left-handed?” Interesting question. How many lefties do
we have? Oh, we have a deficit of lefties statistically. That’s interesting. And one
of them I brought with me. [laughter] Well, you sir, have a 50 percent chance of
just being the mirror image of a righty in terms of your brain organization. Otherwise,
it works the same. You also have a 50 percent chance that your brain has an arbitrary organizational
pattern. You could have regions that are next door neighbors that nobody else has as neighbors. Which could make you a really unique or special
thinker. [laughter] Well, apparently Google hired you, so it sounds
like you’re more in the unique creative category. Being engaged. Oh, but people vary greatly
in how much stimulus is needed to engage a region. And engage means being competent and/or
motivated. There are whole brain patterns, such as being in the zone–that solid blue–that
comes from creativity. It could also be though. It doesn’t have to
be creativity because we saw with some personality types that this seems to clearly be related
to, or at least matches with, correlates to their personality, their Myers-Briggs type.
And there’s also the Christmas tree pattern. There are many other patterns that happen,
too. There’s one called the tennis hop. For those of you who are attending the session
after this one, the coaching and learning techniques, will talk about the tennis hops
and so on. And personality type, mainly a Carl Jung’s eight functions model, correlates
to brain activity. Now, you’ve probably heard of Myers-Briggs,
but what you may not realize is that Myers-Briggs is an assessment that was created to get at
Carl Jung’s eight functions model. Carl Jung was an Austrian psychiatrist and he was a
student. He was one of the two or three principle students of Freud. And he left Freud. He broke away from him
and was very much interested not only in culture and symbology and the collective unconscious
in terms of introversion, extroversion, and having a complex and a dark side and a shadow–all
of those come from Jung. Our pop psychology is filled with Jungian
concepts. But he postulated that there were eight mental functions. And he meant functions
for those math folks, like a math function, which is a set of relationships and that’s
what he meant by function. We have these eight mental functions, which are now also called
cognitive process or what not. And he really proposed that people have all
of them. We use all of them, but we definitely have a strong preference for one and usually
two or three to cover all the bases of what’s needed. And I have found it’s, if I just use
Myers-Briggs, the instrument, I would not have found all the correlations I did because
I really went back to what it was originally trying to assess, which are these eight functions. And that is where I saw all the beautiful
correlations that went with it. And that is where the excitement is. And we can actually
skip to the last slide. Oh, I just wanted to say here, there’s one more slide before
the end. Individual uniqueness is still there. So let’s say, are there any other. We have one ENFP. Do we have any other ENFPs
in the room? Anyone know? You might not know. But you probably know some ENFPs. What’s the
chance that you are going to have almost identical brain activity to them? It’s that little slice
up there. That’s your percent chance. It’s like three percent. However, there’s
a huge percentage chance, 50 percent, something over 50 percent that you’ll have mostly the
same activity. It turns out to be like 80 percent. You’ll have 80 percent of your brain
activity in common. You also have a big chunk, say 35 percent
chance, that you will have half of your brain activity in common. And then, this sliver
here, up here with the purple, which I forget what percentage that is. You all can add up
and find the difference off of a hundred percent. And that’s a chance you only have somewhat
similar. So, by the way, that’s much better than if we just compare any two people randomly
in the population. So, like EFPN, ESTP, the chance that you’ll have almost identical or
mostly similar brain activity is like almost nothing. It’s very small. So, really good validation
in terms of does type actually point personality type point to something, it does. But it is
not an assurance because you can have two ENFPs say, and they might have quite different
brain activity. Now, you’ll still show the Christmas tree, which is well-associated with
all the types with N and P in their code. But beyond that, there might be some big differences.
So, individuality still matters quite a bit. And I think that feels natural to all of us.
We’re not surprised to hear that. And that’s a picture of the brain from the side. And
that’s the end. Thank you. [applause] So now is opportunity for Q&A. And we did
skip a few slides, so I probably may have some resources for folks as they answer questions.>>Female Presenter: Thank you Dario. We’ll
take some questions here from the audience in Mountain View and also if we have any questions
from VC sites. Go ahead and ping Nedi Sharma, nsharma, if you’d like to ask your question.
Any questions here in Mountain View?>>FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #6: I was curious
what your studies show and what your thoughts are in terms of how these personality types
interact, if that shows up in the brain activity and how that shows up.>>Dario Nardi: So, what is it that we see
when people interact with each other? I have never looked at two people’s brains at the
same time as they interacted, but I do frequently look at what’s going on as they interact with
one other person, either around an activity. One thing I do is I give them eight tarot
cards and they have to create a story together, or they’re engaging in mock speed dating or
something like that. Playing a competitive game, tossing balls. It seems some of it is
driven by a feeling of relationship with the other person. So, in the speed dating example, where it’s
almost the task and the relationship to the person match with each other. That you’re
going to see brain activity liking, disliking, and so on. It’s something like the ball toss,
what you really see is the tossing of the ball back and forth and so on. And I don’t know. Just as a brief break, Yosha,
if you want to help them out. Yeah. So, it seems like it’s more task-oriented. And that
makes sense for the neocortex. As we look a little bit deeper into the mid-brain, I
suspect it would be quite different, but the EEG doesn’t reach that far down there. And when the task is socializing, that’s when
we see a lot of the activity. That’s relevant . Yes.>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #7: You talked a little
bit about motivation as being one of the things that lights up at certain parts of the brain.
Did you look at external motivation, or is it just assuming an internal motivation?>>Dario Nardi: I do believe external motivation.
Oh, right. Right. So, the question is, in terms of motivation and competence , the sense
of competence primarily comes from the inside. Motivation can come from the inside or there
can be peer pressure or social influence and guidance to help that come from the outside. There’s a region back here, T5, which is really
strongly responsible for helping us respond to social feedback from others. And the more
active that region was it seemed like the more the person was driven to do behaviors
based upon looks that they got from other people, verbal feedback they got from others. In contrast, they had much more activity in
this region, which is actually diametrically opposite. So, this region here, but almost
no activity on this side. It seemed like no matter what we did, the person might notice
the feedback, but they have no interest in responding to it. In fact, it might even show some activity
here when they’re curious what others are thinking. But once they hear the feedback,
actually, the activity goes away. And they don’t respond to it. So, a good example is
I’m in a fiction writing group and there’s a woman with INFP preferences. And I would predict. She would have a lot
of activity here and a little bit here. So, she’s not really big on social feedback. And
she brings her stories in and we give her comments and she never incorporates the comments.
But she’s always asking for comments. And it’s not just to be nice. And she said
one time, she explained, “I’m just trying to confirm what I think your feedback is going
to be.” But unless it’s like a missing period or something, she doesn’t actually make the
change. And so, that’s an example where I think the motivation in her case really comes
from the inside. But for others, I’ve seen a couple of subjects
where it’s just like, it’s almost like they have like a hundred buttons on the outside
and you can just say or do things and they just like, keep following for the feedback
whatever you do. I mean, amazing sometimes, I think I’m not even giving them feedback,
but if I just glance this way, all of a sudden they like–. I had one kid. He had his feet on the table.
And I didn’t even turn my head. I just looked this way and I noticed it, and I don’t care
actually. And all of a sudden he’s like, “Oh, I have to put my feet down and this and that.”
He was like hyper attentive to that external feedback. Great question. Yes.>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #8: Have you noticed
any cultural differences as you, with the subjects that you have? Like, people who are
raised more with a language system that’s more symbolic as opposed to alphabetic? And
how that’s played into brain area reactions [fades away]>>Dario Nardi: Great question. So, have I
noticed some differences in brain activity based upon cultural background? For example,
if a person was raised learning Kanji or the symbolic writing system as opposed to the
simplified alphabetic system that we use in English. The answer is yes. And in fact, I really wanted
to explore cultural differences, so I selected three, well, two primarily, but I would allow
some other students to come in, too. Japanese exchange students and students who were first
generation or Persian or Middle Eastern immigrant. So, mainly Persian, but there were some Lebanese
and so on. And tried to keep it to that. What I found was that in activities that are more
learned, for example, performing mathematics. And I would ask them–. They have an interview
sheet as they come in and I ask them to do some sample math problems and reflect on that. And let me know what kind of math methods,
if they remember, how is it that they learned math. And it was really fascinating to see
the differences in brain activity that reflected–. I could understand in terms of personality,
but this also seemed clearly related to the method that they learned with math. And a great example–the Japanese students.
Incredibly efficient brain activity. And these were all students. I made sure to pick ones
for the math when I do the comparison that were all students who would use math as part
of their majors. Incredibly efficient brain activity. Just like one perfect region, the P3 region,
which educators would hope would be like, the region for simpler mathematics as opposed
to over here, P4, for more spatial and multivariant mathematics. And no other regions really active.
So, very fast, efficient. You wanna be using your brain at maximum capacity when you’re
doing math problems if that’s gonna be your job doing a lot it. In contrast, I had a student raised in–.
A Middle Eastern student who had the French method of learning math, which is a lot about
sounding out and repeating. So, he showed a lot of auditory activity. The hassle is,
though, the auditory areas also keep track of their hearing in the physical environment. So he had difficulty doing the math problems
because there was noise in the environment. And he expressed he needed to work alone in
a really quiet space in order to do math. I had a student finally who came from Northern
California and learned in one of the new math systems where students are allowed to discover
principles for themselves and so on. And she worked quickly and she got all the
problems right. And she used well over half her brain to do it. And unfortunately, the
half that she used didn’t involve any of the key reasoning centers. And as she described
it. She said, “I’m trying to remember what we did and remember the formulas. And I know I was visualizing the problem and
then I was wondering if I was taking too long.” And so, she ended up using everything that
would be part of an experiential process. And apparently, the new math methods for imparting
principles didn’t actually impart any principles to her, which contradicted her personality
type preference, too. Which I thought, “Well, if it didn’t work
for her, then what does that mean?” At least for the school that she attended or to the
teachers she had. So, it does seem there’s some elements around that. I also thought
it was interesting when I compared INFPs since I had seven of them and could look at their
ethnic background. But the one who was the perfect listener–in
every situation, she was like, “What? You’re talking? I’m gonna listen with my whole brain.”
Was the Japanese INFP. And I know, having lived in Japan and speaking Japanese. It’s
really interesting with the grammar. You have to wait until the end of the sentence
to know what the verb is. And essentially, the most important part. So you really need
to be a good listener in Japanese. And then, she was female, which in Japanese society
would push it even further. She’s a really great listener. INFP are already stereotyped as listeners
to begin with. And I’m expecting that from the brain activity. And she was like, super-listener.
And just really listened to everyone actively. She might want to consider if she wants to
keep doing that all of her life. Now that she’s learned this, it’s up to her what she
does with that knowledge. Whereas, I had an INFP who was very, like,
European background, grew up in America and so on. And he did listening, but not nearly
as much. And those are specific students, but if I put them all along a spectrum I can
see that there’s definitely, where the Persian INFP probably did the least listening of the
seven that were there. Yeah. Yes.>>FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #9: I was wondering
about something that you said earlier. I was wondering in a lot of what you described as
correlation of these personality types to brain activity, is there anything that you
would suggest is translatable to our lives in terms of how to cause changes? For example,
how one personality type, how would that interact with another or might become a better listener
by engaging brain activity in a neighboring region or something like that?>>Dario Nardi: So, the question is, are there
ways to take this information we’ve learned about the brain and translate into practical
applications in our everyday lives? And some examples would be having a better idea of
how to interact with somebody else. Can we actually improve, perhaps, a particular
ability or develop particular skill around something. I can think of three options right
off. One is that you go to Australia and you do their trans cranial stimulation. You participate
in that. So, they turn off certain regions of the brain by stimulating them or turn on
other regions. And they’ve really had some nice success in
terms of shifting people’s activity. Many of us, apparently, are really good artists
and we don’t know it. And the trick is to actually turn off regions in the left frontal
areas and especially in this region right around here. And all of a sudden, for two or three or maybe
four hours, we’re gonna have significantly better drawing ability. Because apparently,
there are signals from here that are sent out to block signals from the other hemisphere.
So, that’s an example where we’ve seen some nice stuff. That’s a very high-tech end, but maybe Google
could arrange that for you. [laughter] Another is that after this session there’s
a break. And then there’s a human resources, another hour and a half activity workshop.
And that’s when we’ll talk about actually what are those coaching tips and techniques
for those eight types. And there really are a lot that come out of
it. Much more than I’ve–. I mentioned personality types without saying for this for this for
that for that. ‘Cause personality type, we would say, some colleagues have asked me,
“OK, now that you’ve gotten this point, isn’t personality type like Myers-Briggs just nice
scaffolding to problem-solving? And now that you figured out what the brain
does, you can throw it away.” And I said, “No.” Because I’m not done yet. And also,
most of the time we really don’t know what’s going on inside a person’s brain. And it turns
out to be pretty good if we also know the person’s expertise skill sets. Those two pieces of information together can
give us a pretty good picture of what’s likely to go on. And then from there, we can actually
do some interactive things. We can say maybe this is the kind of person who needs to have
windows in their office. Or, at least be able to get outside or something like that. And my third answer is because these really
are skills, cognitive skills, as I would call them, we can’t develop them instantly. But
I believe with anywhere from probably three to six months of practice, upwards of three
years, that we can develop particular regions to work better, as long as we know we’re working
activities that actually cause the brain to function in that area. And don’t allow us to rely upon other areas
to fill in. Like, we really, you understand what I’m saying? That we–. Our natural inclination
is like, “Hmm. There’s a new task. What familiar resources can I bring to bear for the brain
to solve it?” No. We wanna design a task that forces them to use an area they’re uncomfortable
with. And naturally, it’ll be unpleasant at first.
But I can certainly say now and then rewinding some 20 odd years ago, that my region F7,
it must surely work much better than it did before. I don’t know. I didn’t have it done
before. But I’m thinking it works a lot better now. And that had to do with specific trainings
that I got and so on. And over many years. So probably going to Australia would be the
easiest one. But I think all of them. You can do the workshop today and that’s a good
start.>>Female Presenter: We have time for one more
question and then–. Do you have a question?>>FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #10: You can learn
a lot about yourself by actually going and doing this study. Is there a way, is the study
still going on?>>Dario Nardi: I will agree with you that
yes, you can learn a lot from doing this. In fact, the last two people I did–both students–were
a couple. And they gave permission for the other person, their partner, to watch as they
did it. Now, they’d been going together for a while, so they weren’t completely surprised. But it did confirm a lot of things that they
sort of felt the case. One of the jokes is she’s the one who wears the pants in the relationship.
He’s the one who listens. His preferences are INFP and we really saw, yes, he’s the
listener. There were also some really funny moments. One of the things I do with the virtual dating
is they see pictures of potential dates. So men and women that are their age. Young men,
young women. And I asked them to pick. They have the virtual experience, but towards the
end they can pick, they narrow it down to three and down to one. All of the females and all of the males, they
picked the same people. So, all of the males picked the same girl at the end. And all of
the females picked the same guy, regardless of personality type or whatever. All of the
females picked the guy who’s wearing the football jersey and has blonde hair. I’m not kidding. Like, that really is. All
of the guys picked the blonds who’s on the beach in a bikini and has really great abs.
And this couple, the guy thought that his girlfriend would select in the gallery of
options, would select the guy that looked like him. And that guy didn’t even make it
to the top three. [laughter] Much less the top one. And he seemed a little
surprised and disconcerted by that. I think from her point of view that wasn’t why she
was with him. And I think that’s a great example of looking at, I would say it’s this. Because who we like and dislike, it’s an instant,
sexual response, is coming from the limbic system. I mean, we see things and we smell
things and so on and it comes from there. But the neocortex is designed to override
that, or at least give us more options in decision-making. And so, it’s not really surprising that she
would have an immediate reaction on one level and yet for a long-term partner would say,
“No, I want somebody else.” And make that sensible. In fact, she even felt that the
football player probably not make a good mate. I mean, that was part of the questioning.
But allowing people to see that is tremendously illuminating. I mean, the biggest and the
most fun, is voyeuristic in those two or three hours. I get to know the person at a level
that would probably take months, or even potentially years, if I didn’t live with them to know,
to figure out their responsiveness and so on. So, I hope for the day that more people will
be able to do this. In terms of is this still going on or not? I’m doing some minor research.
I want to fill out my subject set. And then, my focus, my desire is to actually create
wireless technology that a person can wear the cap throughout their working day and then
there’ll be a computer program that automatically analyzes what’s going on so that I can have
a lot more subjects and not be tied down with it. I have one possible funding source, but I’m
looking to move to that level first before doing more. ‘Cause people naturally ask, “What
about my brain?” And I’m working on that. Yes. Thank you. I appreciate the invitation. [applause]

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