16 Stages of Mental Development

Everyone goes through both a physical and mental development during their lifetimes. Many of these steps of maturation occur at approximately the same time for all people. The 16 stages are divided into two major categories. The first group of eight stages relates to the here-and-now Empirical world that which can be observed and measured.

Our five senses are intricately involved in these first eight formative stages of development. All children go through these periods of maturation in their early years.

The second group of eight stages goes beyond the five senses and fixates more on the “sixth sense” the more abstract, theoretical and imaginative world. These areas cannot always be quantified; they can sometimes be difficult to measure or to grasp. These stages develop as children age, when they can begin to Conceptualize matters. They learn to make links and connections that are not always easy to see or understand, especially for the Empiricals, who specialize in the first eight stages.


stages #1-8


Emotional (approx. 1st year)

Stage 1 — Senses surroundings and responds emotionally

The newborn activates its first mental stage by engaging its five senses to everything outside its budding brain. Not only does the infant utilize its powerful senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch, but it quickly responds to each and every one, emotionally. The first stage of life is assisted by the energy-expending, Front-brain (especially Q1), creating a form of “extraversion” from the get-go. Stage 1 Brain Type is called the “Sensor,” with the capacity to master all five senses.

Stage 2 — Emotionally interprets Empirical surroundings

The second mental development stage of all infants has already been used a good deal in phase one, but it now becomes dominant. It specializes in the ability to emotionally interpret its surroundings. Stage 2, much in its “introverted” Back-brain (especially quadrant two), begins to compare and appraise the many emotional vibrations received from its environment. The Brain Type that corresponds to this second stage is represented by the letters BEAR (Back, Empirical, Animate, Right). It will grow up to have extraordinary emotional intelligence; thus I call this inborn design, the “Emotion Detector.”

Stage 3 — Emotionally expresses Empirical surroundings

This third stage of infant development specializes in expressing how it feels about its surroundings and senses experienced. It hasn’t learned speech yet, so it will communicate emotionally in every other way it can fathom or mimic from its environment, including its parents. The front brain and extraversion are being quite active again, especially quad 3, the brain’s communication center. Having a high degree of emotional intelligence, this inborn design is called the “Facilitator.” Stage 3 relies on stages 1 and 2, and takes this cumulative information of sensing and emotion to form strong opinions based upon its good and bad experiences. This phase becomes expert at critiquing, noticing the stark differences of Animate emotions it has received.

Stage 4 — Classifies Empirical surroundings emotionally

This final stage of emotional development, as it relates to the five senses, completes the first year of life. The baby has learned a LOT, and it does not want to waste these past valuable experiences. It subconsciously tries to classify and categorize every important sensation, emotion, experience, and event so it can be prepared for when these happen again. The posterior brain gets a good workout in stage 4 (especially Q4), and finally, the baby has taken its first extended trip around the four quadrants of the brain. The dutiful Left posterior, Q4, assumes the responsibility to take the important cumulative information from quads 1, 2, and 3, and store it for safekeeping and later retrieval. The Brain Type corresponding to this fourth phase is called the “Sentry.” It is identified by the acronym BEAL (Back, Empirical, Animate, Left).

All four Brain Types that correspond to the first four phases of mental development will have superior emotional intelligence (and gross-motor body control).


Logical (approx. age 1-2)

Stage 5 — Senses surroundings and responds logically

In the second year of life, the fifth stage of mental development is significant. We are now back to quad 1, the Right, Front brain. Though the child still resides in the sensing and Empirical world, it now begins to look at and respond to circumstances much differently. Rather than merely viewing matters emotionally, it attempts to observe and sense in an unemotional manner. By removing much emotion, it now processes and engages issues and sensations more objectively and thoughtfully. Sensing matters impersonally, using the brain’s Inanimate reasoning power, the young one gets excited, as it now has a new way to respond to the world, especially using the Right, Front brain (Q1). The FEIR (Front, Empirical, Inanimate, Right) Brain Type corresponding to stage five is called the “Opportunist.” Similar to the stage 1 design (FEAR), FEIRs observe virtually everything in their environment. But unlike stage 1, stage 5 responds with lightning-quick, Inanimate reasoning.

Stage 6 — Logically interprets Empirical surroundings

As the child continues in the second year of its life, it next tries to impersonally and logically interpret its surroundings. Spatial thinking is developed, and opinions and thoughts are formed with Inanimate reasoning. A lifetime is required to perfect these, but the process actively begins during this phase. Much of the time in this stage, the child will engage the rear brain (Q2) and phases of introversion. The BEIR is called the “Tactician.” Persons born with this Brain Type develop an outstanding sense of timing for taking advantage of their environment.

Stage 7 — Logically expresses Empirical surroundings

Activating much of the Front of the brain again (especially Q3), stage 7 now wants to tell the world about what it has noticed, experienced, and decided regarding its surroundings, from an impersonal, Inanimate perspective. Expressing and communicating logic regarding one’s environment is an important stage of development. Though few words are spoken well at this juncture of toddlerhood, the young one nevertheless tries to tell its opinions to any who will listen. By now, the little one knows much about its likes and dislikes. The Brain Type representing stage 7, FEIL (Front, Empirical, Inanimate, Left), is referred to as the “Supervisor,” for obvious reasons. It grows up desiring to help others organize their surroundings sometimes even when it is unwelcomed.

Stage 8 — Classifies Empirical surroundings logically

We now arrive at the final stage of human mental development regarding the Empirical and sensing world. Just as with stage 4, this phase desires to classify matters, as well. It will approach its task just like the Back-brained stage 4, but this 8th process will instead categorize Inanimate and sensing nuances. By putting each Inanimate issue in its proper classification, the growing child will avoid many unpleasant experiences in the future, and it will have many rewarding activities to anticipate. The Brain Type representing stage 8 is called the “Investigator.” Residing in deeply analytic Q4, this inborn design, the BEIL (Back, Empirical, Inanimate, Left), notices all the details, whatever can be picked up, collected, and filed somewhere.

Brain Types #5 through #8 are all gifted in the hand-eye region of the brain’s primary motor cortex. Designs #5 and #6 can develop superior hand positioning, whereas Brain Types #7 and #8 excel with manual dexterity.

We have only touched upon a few characteristics of the first eight stages of human mental development the Empirical stages. Yet I am hopeful that these summations provide you a glimpse of not only these initial stages, but also of eight unique and inborn Brain Types that are especially gifted in each of these areas.


stages #9-16


Emotional (approx. age 2-7)

We now transition to the second half of mental development, which takes longer and involves what some describe as the “sixth sense” of abstraction and intuition. As the human brain matures, it is capable of making more complex links and connections to life. Some of these areas cannot be grasped by our five senses and, thus, must be understood by conceptualization and imagination. These cognitive abilities begin to switch on as we develop speech, and link words and thoughts together somewhere in the vicinity of age two for most children. These abilities will continue to maturate, even into the teen years.

Stage 9 — Conceptualizes and responds emotionally

This step is similar to stages 1 and 5, where the Front, Right brain (Q1) is heavily involved again, and is keenly aware of its surroundings. For the first time, however, it is the vague environment that which can’t be measured, sensed, or observed easily that the brain is primarily concerned with. This stage receives impressions and possibilities. Fantasy and make-believe finally enter this realm. Leaving the world of reality is a quantum leap, and stage 9 is the blast-off phase for this endeavor. Yet, like stage 1, stage 9 responds to its new, obscure world in an Animate, emotional fashion.

Stage 9 is adept at conceptualizing its surroundings and responding emotionally. Stages 9 through 12, which deal with Animate, emotional interpretations of concepts, imaginations, and ideas, often take five years or so to initially develop. Stage 9, like 1 and 5, is an excitable phase. No other quad of the brain is more amped than Q1. Stage 9 is the FCAR (Front, Conceptual, Animate, Right) Brain Type the “Motivator.”

Brain Types 9 through 12 are speech and hearing specialists, who excel with movements of the mouth region, which can translate into speech and language prowess. In addition, they also possess a heightened ability to coordinate both gross and fine-motors.

One final note: The first eight stages of mental development all refer to “surroundings,” due to the fact that they interact with their Empirical environment. The nuances that can be detected by the five senses are areas that can be grasped and understood by all. As we venture into the Conceptual world, however, “surroundings” is less applicable. Ideas, imaginations, theory, and abstraction can come from anywhere especially from the deep recesses of the mind. Concepts can be like the wind, not easily grasped or comprehended. With this in mind, “surroundings” will be jettisoned as we explore the vast expanse of the Conceptual universe.

Stage 10 — Emotionally interprets Concepts

This level of development parallels stages 2 and 6, where the Back, posterior brain is fascinated with interpreting the environment again. But this time it must make sense of the abstract world and ruminate on the emotional impulses it receives. Stage 10 begins to compare and appraise the many emotional vibrations it is receiving from its conceptual environment. This stage finds links with other abstract, emotional connections. It loves harmonious combinations and is adept at creating them. The inborn design associated with this stage the BCAR (Back, Conceptual, Animate, Right) is referred to as the “Lyricist.”

Stage 11 — Emotionally articulates Concepts

As with levels 3 and 7, this 11th stage heavily activates quadrant 3 of the brain the Left, Front region. This is the language center Broca’s area to be exact where speech is proclaimed. However, in this language stage, which deals with abstract and concepts, more advanced speech can be attained. Articulating language with proper syntax and diction can be realized. Words take on special meaning and a dictionary and thesaurus become relevant. Stage 11 specializes in emotionally articulating concepts and ideas. It is more interested in people than things and in rendering feelings than logic. The Brain Type representative of this stage is called the “Educator.”

Stage 12 — Classifies Concepts emotionally

Once again, we tap into the last quad, number 4, and the most scrutinizing part of the brain. Stage 12 must now classify all its Animate concepts and imaginations, heavily engaging a new region of neurons that are gifted here. By putting each emotional concept or idea in its proper category, the maturing child will develop a meaningful and useful storehouse for the future assisting in virtually every area of life especially if it involves relating to people. No Brain Type enjoys words more than number 12, especially literary and enriched language that touch the heart and soul. Thus, this innate design, the BCAL (Back, Conceptual, Animate, Left), is aptly called the “Wordsmith.”


Logical (approx. age 7-teens)

We now enter the fourth and final mandatory trek through the brain’s four quadrants, which includes Brain Types and stages 13 through 16. All 16 stages will continue for a lifetime, but our first exposure to these as young people opens up a new world of understanding and competence. Inborn designs 13 through 16, thanks to their primary motor cortex, can become experts with breathing and voice. They can control the muscular thoracic diaphragm like no other designs. This enables many of them especially Brain Type #13 to become top-notch vocalists, actors, orators, ventriloquists, long-distant runners even “beat boxers.” They also are highly adept with the mouth region and can speak with little lip and jaw restriction.

Stage 13 — Conceptualizes and responds logically

Just as stages 1, 5, and 9 heavily engage the Right, Front brain quad 1 so to does stage 13. This region of the brain loves new things, as it has a propensity to get bored quite easily. Brain Type #13, the FCIR (Front, Conceptual, Inanimate, Right), is great at visualizing issues, and its brain is able to function almost like a movie theatre. Stage 13 is more interested in Inanimate than Animate matters. Things and issues take priority over people and emotions. This stage tends to begin around age seven in the average person, though the Brain Type strongest in this dimension the FCIR can sometimes show these traits as early as age two (and younger)! Stage 13 masters the ability to conceptualize and respond logically and impersonally. This design is aptly called the “Strategist.”

Stage 14 — Logically interprets Concepts

As we head into the final stretch of stages, we now enter the “Einstein” phase of mental development regardless our Brain Type. (Note that this is not the same as developing the mental prowess of Einstein.) Here the child, who has now lived for a decade or more, can catch a glimpse of the most incisive reasoning capacity of the brain. This phase logically interprets concepts. It not only develops abstract spatial thinking, but it forms opinions and theoretical thoughts through the use of Inanimate reasoning. It will take a lifetime attempting to perfect these, but the process commences here. Much of the mind’s time in this stage will engage the Right, Back brain (Q2), demonstrating phases of introversion. The Brain Type corresponding to stage 13 is the BCIR (Back, Conceptual, Inanimate, Right), aptly called the “Logician.”

Stage 15 — Logically articulates Concepts

We have almost concluded the four necessary trips around the brain. Heading to the finish line, we once again engage Q3 the most verbose and take-charge region of the brain. Stage 15 is where we really begin to logically articulate concepts. This is the master debater phase. It likes to take all meaningful ideas and concepts and articulate them in a sound, sequential, and highly rational fashion. Incisive thinking and hair-splitting logic is cherished in verbal form. It also relishes acting on these important and competent concepts, striving for success and accomplishment. Many of America’s most recent Presidents were born with Brain Type #15, the FCIL (Front, Conceptual, Inanimate, Left), which is appropriately called the “CEO.”

Stage 16 — Classifies Concepts logically

Last, but certainly not least, we come to the final basic stage of human mental development. Stages 4, 8, 12 and 16 all rely on the Left, Back brain (Q4). This is the meticulous and analytic cerebral region. Stage 1 is the antithesis of stage 16. They are light years apart as far as what is taking place, yet very necessary for one another if a decent balance of cognition is ever to be realized by the person going through these stages. They cover one end of the spectrum to the other. This is the “system engineer” and inventor stage of the brain. It takes the most abstract thoughts and makes something useful from them.


We have just reviewed briefly each of the 16 mental stages of human development. Try to remember that each stage also represents one of the 16 inborn Brain Types. Each of the designs is genetically programmed and wired in the brain to master only one of the stages of mental development.

Opposite Brain Types and Mental Stages of Development

1 – FEAR “Sensor”

16 – BCIL “System Engineer”

2 – BEAR “Emotion Detector”

15 – FCIL “CEO”

3 – FEAL “Facilitator”

14 – BCIR “Logician”

4 – BEAL “Sentry”

13 – FCIR “Strategist”

5 – FEIR “Opportunist”

12 – BCAL “Wordsmith”

6 – BEIR “Tactician”

11 – FCAL “Educator”

7 – FEIL “Supervisor”

10 – BCAR “Lyricist”

8 – BEIL “Inspector”

9 – FCAR “Motivator”