The Four Quadrants
The Four Brain Locales
The previous section detailed the four cerebral functions of Brain Types.
Here, we examine four specific regions of the brain where the processing of information takes place.
First, the brain has two lobes or hemispheres a Right and Left; they’re side by side. These two lobes are connected by millions of nerve fibers called the corpus callosum. In addition, they each have a front and back region anterior and posterior. This makes four distinct quadrants of the brain, one in which every single person the world over masters. First, let’s first take a look at the four individual brain locales.
Front / Back
Every person is strongest in either the anterior part of the brain (Front-brain dominant F) or in the posterior (Back-brain dominant B). Originally associated with the terms “extrovert” and “introvert” as first applied by Jung, these may be two of the most misunderstood words in our vocabulary. Simply stated, the work of the Back of the brain is to focus and reflecta what Jung meant by “introversion” on the external world. The job of the Front of the brain is to act Jung’s extraversion on these reflections or internal needs.
The Back section of the brain gathers and handles input from the outside world. This external information is received via the senses (sight, smell, sound, hearing, and taste) and the posterior of the brain prefers to translate this input into meaning. This locale clearly handles the preponderance of what could be described as “introverted” processes.
The Front of the brain is the most significant area for creating one’s outward personality. Persons with specific kinds of frontal lobe damage speak with flattened inflection, lacking personality.A place called ”Broc’s area” in the frontal lobe is responsible for the expression of speech. People who are Front-brain dominant, therefore, are generally more verbose and speak with greater volume.
In very general terms, Front-brainers (F) usually prefer to focus on the outer world and are energized by their contact with it. Their batteries are normally charged by talking and interacting with people, with activities, with living out their plans and dreams. It is believed that upwards of 80 percent of the population in the United States is Front-brained thanks to their genetic dominance.
Back-brainers (B), in contrast, are compelled to recharge their batteries from within. Many Back-brain dominant people are inclined to keep their real selves hidden until they fully trust a confidant or until they know others will take the time to hear them out. Back-brainers build their energy when they have time and space to be alone. They are not as distracted by activities around them, as they possess better concentrating abilities.B’s generally conserve energy and delve deeply into interests and relationships. They have fewer acquaintances, since they tend to become drained by too much interaction. Through practice, or by being in an “extraverted” Front-brain dominant family, a Back-brainer may develop a good facility for Front-brained “extraversion.” Remember, environment or upbringing can have a profound influence on one’s persona. It will not, however, change a person’s Front or Back-brain genetic dominance at all What it can do is make an impact on the personality traits of extraversion and introversion.
There are varying degrees of Front-brain and Back-brain proficiency.People who display extreme dominance in the Front brain (normally the result of unique genetic or nutritional factors) will be absorbed in action, crowds, business, rushing from place to place, and speaking extemporaneously. They would rather “do” than “wait.” Back-brainers with extreme tendencies will be reclusive, painfully shy and retiring. Most of us are somewhere in between.
We can use our Front brain or Back brain at any time, but we will always feel more comfortable using one locale more than the other and that will normally be the one where we are genetically wired to be most adept.
Left / Right
Next, we have the two hemispheres of the brain. Neuroscientists have discovered that, in general, the Left hemisphere specializes in concentrating on one issue at a time, whereas the Right hemisphere focuses on many issues at once.
Each hemisphere, incidentally, processes both Front and Back-brain activity, as well as the four functions discussed previously. Interestingly (and this is important to understand), each hemisphere handles these processes differently from the other.
In general terms, Left-brain dominance refers to someone who is conclusive and decisive. Someone who is uncomfortable until decisions are made. Right-brainers are considered to be aware, absorbing information without experiencing pressure to arrive at closure. Both are rational ways of living, though one is more planned and the other more spontaneous.
In determining whether someone is an L or an R, don’t put too much emphasis on how they behave at work. Work arenas demand we act a certain way. Think about the total person, how we choose to live during the time when we call the shots.
Left-brainers prefer to take action and come to a decision or conclusion as soon as possible. They are driven to closure in their outer world. Left-brained persons tend to be organized and decisive, and they value advanced planning. They are geared toward making decisions about what they should do, as well as what others should do. They prefer to plan, maintain order, and control events and people around them. Ls do better with deadlines and living by the rules. Being more work-oriented, they want to get their work done before they play, believing that play must be earned. They are essentially optimistic and cheerful, even amid difficult times. That optimism may not always be readily observable, however, as they continually try to put things in order. Yet they heavily reside in the Left brain, the more emotionally stable hemisphere.
Right-brainers are those who need additional time dealing with the outer world before making decisions. They feel the need to gather more information and make observations, keeping their schedules and viewpoints fairly open-ended. In this way, they are in a position to experience the new and exciting. This is true for both the Front-brainer and the Back-brainer (on the Right side). If you want to do something on the spur of the moment, call the spontaneous R person.
R’s tend to receive new information in a non-judgmental, open-minded way, whereas L’s are inclined to make new information conform to preconceived knowledge, hesitating if it doesn’t. Extensive research has revealed that well over half of the United States population is innately Right-brain dominant.
The 4 Quadrants
Now that you are familiar with the four general locales of the brain (F & B, L & R), let’s take a closer look at the four quadrants, which are combinations of these.
Each quadrant specializes in specific mental traits.
Q1 – Front Right (FR)
The Front Right quadrant (Q1) is best at Conceiving. Q1 loves new and novel things (which can include people). This quadrant is always looking for or imagining something fresh or different. It can easily get bored if something out of the ordinary or intriguing doesn’t come soon into its perception. Q1 says,”What is this?” This is an interesting perspective. I like this different look. “Wow, it’s new and exciting!” Any time we learn something new, Q1 tries to make sense of it first.
Q2 – Back Right (BR)
The Back Right brain (Q2), or right posterior region of the brain, takes information, whether new or old, and likes “Comparing” it with other knowledge. It seeks to find similarities or common characteristics with things and people, to make connections and links (either positive or negative). Even if the similarities are distant and vague, Q2 still attempts to make some sort of comparison and connection.
Q3 – Front Left (FL)
The Front Left brain (Q3) specializes in discerning how things are dissimilar, different, not alike. Q3 specializes in “Critiquing”, not comparing. Q2 and Q3 often assist and balance each other in thought and decision making. Every person, however, is innately stronger (not necessarily strongest) in either quad 2 or 3, and thus, they relies more upon one than the other (sometimes to their own detriment).
Q3, also known as the “Executive Control Center” of the brain, excels at looking for and locating flaws. This region can be the most critical region, especially when expressing itself to others about the differences in things and people.
Q4 – Back Left (BL)
The left posterior quadrant (Q4) is the most analytic and scrutinizing region of the brain. This area loves to “Classify” and categorize areas of interest (things and people). Folks wired strongest in this brain sector do not naturally trust new information (or people). In order to approve of something, even if fantastic, it requires careful scrutiny. New information must pass the rigorous test of what it represents itself to be. It can’t be approved just upon others’ recommendation or its own self-promotion.
Whatever exists, or even claims to exist, finds a classification or category in this Back Left quadrant. Q4 is forced to consider the other 3 quadrants to make its decision about where something should be placed or slotted; it looks for similarities, but more so the differences. None of the other quadrants feel compelled to do this as does Q4, especially Q1, which actually hates to make the long analytic trek to region 4, and it rarely does, though this depends upon the person especially one’s character and attitude.
Summary of the 4 Locales
So summing it up, every person uses all four quadrants of the brain on a daily basis, yet each individual is best in only one of them. Each person will rely primarily on one region of the four. The second area or quadrant it will trust and use most is the other quadrant of the same hemisphere (Left or Right).
For instance, Q1 people strongest in the right front will rely on and use quadrant 2 next. These people love new and novel things (or ideas) and will then try to make connections with these to other things with which they’re already familiar. Q1 folks dislike which region most? Q4 is their least-trusted “the Back Left.” Similarly, Q4 people will rely on Q3 next and on Q1 the least.
You now have four combinations of innate brain locale preferences (F/B, L/R) to go with four combinations of innate brain functions (E/C, A/I). You also have four more areas where specific Brain Types are most proficient (4 Qs). We will discuss this further in the following sections, but, as it is becoming plain to see, the brain is organized in a very structured and intelligent way.
By learning the specialization of each of these four brain regions, you can find dramatic improvement in better understanding and dealing with people.