The BTSA
Physiological Foundations
Dominance
The Four Modes
Introversion and Extraversion
Why is the BTSA Different?
Physiological Foundations Jung’s model as it stands is powerful. In this scientific era when momentous discoveries about the brain are being made regularly and the constructs of “white matter”, “right brain”, “left brain”, “frontal lobes” are part of everyone’s “normal vocabulary”, however, it is helpful to link models such as Jung’s to what we now know about the brain, and more specifically about the arousal system, functional specialization, and electrical resistance in the cortex. By so doing, we can gain confirmation for much of Jung’s model on the one hand; and additional insights that extend beyond Jung on the other.

Thus, the Benziger Model represents the comprehensive synthesis of state-of-the-art understandings concerning how we think and process information with Jung’s Model. In the area of extraversion, it adds a third category for those who have a “balanced level of arousal”. In the area of functional specialization it substitutes labels which identify the four specialized chunks of the cortex, for Jung’s original labels. Additionally, inasmuch as the traditional neurological label for the posterior chunks (i.e. sensory lobes), implies a lack of active thinking and processing, the word “Posterior Convexity” was adopted because it denotes their foundational or concrete focus. People can be assisted to learn these by associating Front-Frontal, Back-Posterior Convexity.

These labeling changes serve not only to remind people of the scientific basis for the model, but more importantly to neutralize people’s perception of the modes and make them all equally valuable. In the past, especially in the United States and in business as a while, the thinking function which has lead business to achieve vast accomplishments throughout the industrial era has been seen as better than the other three functions. By shifting to labels which point to the physical basis as well as the primary contribution of the mode on a systems level, this problem is surmounted.

Early research in the field of functional specialization, as well as, work with epileptics focussed on measurable functional differences between the right and left hemispheres of the cortex. The differences, dramatically recounted by Drs. Robert Ornstein, Roger Sperry and Michael S. Gassaniga in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, captured the imagination of Americans. In 1983, PBS aired an eight part special on The Brain, in which part six was devoted solely to the exploration of these hemispheric differences. Charts such as that presented below were found in magazines along with self-assessments which suggested that everyone was either “right” or “left” brained.

Early research in the field of functional specialization, as well as, work with epileptics focussed on measurable functional differences between the right and left hemispheres of the cortex. The differences, dramatically recounted by Drs. Robert Ornstein, Roger Sperry and Michael S. Gassaniga in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, captured the imagination of Americans. In 1983, PBS aired an eight part special on The Brain, in which part six was devoted solely to the exploration of these hemispheric differences. Charts such as that presented below were found in magazines along with self-assessments which suggested that everyone was either “right” or “left” brained.

Some of the lists reflected hard data and what was actually known about the brain’s specialization. Others seemed to extend the scientific list in an associative manner which fit their own and others’ paradigms.

However, such a simplistic dichotomy caused several serious neuro-researchers to observe that the split and differences between the front and back was as significant. In particular, Karl H. Pribram in his lectures and David Loye in The Sphinx and the Rainbow emphasized this “split as dominant. Here the differences were characterized quite differently. The front region or frontal lobes were seen as being highly conceptual, forecasting, problem-solving executive functions, while the posterior region, comprised of what had historically been known as the sensory lobes (e.g. temporal, parietal, occipital) was highly concrete and immediate.

In a conversation with Benziger in 1983, exploring the possibility of establishing a neurophysiological model for Jung’s four functions, Pribram suggested that overlaying the front-back, right-left models, produced a quadrant model, which reflected the physical fact that the cortex is effectively divided into four chunks of approximately equal size: the left frontal lobe, the left sensory lobes, the right frontal lobe and the right sensory lobes.
Pribram’s own research showed that the “sensory” lobes of the brain did do some active processing. In the next several years, Benziger’s efforts to synthesize the wide ranging research on functional specialization pointed strongly to the possibility that these four specialized chunks form the basis of Jung’s four functions.



The Sensory Lobes on the Left have been shown to be very concrete with filters which direct its attention such that it sees primarily bounded shapes, which it likes to grasp and handle, and that it hears predominantly words (as contrasted with non-words), which it recognizes and which will direct it towards specific objects and instruct it to grasp or handle the object in a precise manner to accomplish some task. As well, observations indicate that this area of the cortex internally orders in-coming data so as to generate ordered data or ordered actions (procedures). Taken together, this constellation of capabilities, is strikingly similar to Jung’s object-oriented, reality-based Sensation Function.

In contrast, the chunk comprised of the Sensory Lobes on the Right has been shown to be concrete with filters which direct its attention such that it
sees primarily gestalts (faces, facial expressions, non-verbal patterns of communications), spatial and color relatedness, likes to touch, connect with or feel (e.g. pat, caress, hug), and hears predominantly tonal qualities and the messages they convey. Note that people using this area predominantly report being more sensitive to the wind, the sounds of running water and the meaning of a baby’s cry. Filters operating in this area seem to focus the attention on the presence or absence of harmony in the in-coming data. As well, observations indicate that this area internally evaluates in-coming data sorting those which indicate harmony from those in which harmony is lacking, with a built –in feedback mechanism which seems to require the individual to react to the discord with activity designed specifically to harmonize or establish comfort. This constellation of capabilities is highly reminiscent of Jung’s like-dislike Feeling Function.

The Frontal Lobe on the Left has been shown to be more responsive to changes or the presence of problems in the environment, such that its attention focuses powerfully when it notices a change. Moreover, it appears to be the seat of
logic, control or precision and goal-directed behavior. As such, this constellation of capabilities is comparable to Jung’s Thinking Function.

The Frontal Lobe on the Right has been shown to be more abstract with filters which direct its attention to changes in the environment, especially when they reveal
broad or big picutre patterns. The area has also been shown to: play internally with noticed patterns, by using its imagination to rotate or transform the pattern; and manage the non-verbal dance of gestures which can accompany speech (e.g as in Italian or Jewish cultures). As such, this constellation of capabilities is in many ways comparable to Jung’s Intuitive Function.

Thus, in many ways the discoveries and insights of the past decade are revealing a physical and physiological foundation for Jung’s model. But what of his key construct: the premise that dominance was natural in humans and that the structure of the functions was such that when dominance was found to exist in one function, the opposite function would defacto be the greatest weakness; and the two remaining, function as auxiliaries available to assist the lead? Here too there appears to be substantial supporting evidence.
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