From an INFJ: the meaning of emotions

Now dear readers, since I usually have an overabundance of thoughts/ideas/insights/words and usually no one around to share them with (as evidenced by the length of some of my posts), I’m not usually one to steal other people’s words. BUT, given my recent epiphany about emotions and my recent struggles both with my new awareness of them and their potential meaning, I thought I’d share something I came across while prowling the INTP forum (a favorite pastime of mine).

“To extend that note, emotions are not something to be avoided. They are just a diagnostic: a heads-up from the primal, instinctual part of your brain to pay attention, if you will. In many respects, emotions are a source of human action, a way of expressing universal needs based on environmental feedback (i.e, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs). They are often described as a river one rides toward some goal; however, as you noted, that’s incomplete. Every river has a course it follows, an order to its construction. That is logic, the complement to emotion. Some people have weak logic and run all over everywhere, never really reaching where they want to go; others have too little emotion and are a straight line without any adventure, finding their river’s hollow end too quickly.” courtesy of a wandering INFJ (Radiant Shadow) at INTP forum.

Emotions: I heart you! (and I hear you… just don’t know if/when I will listen)

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About intpblogger

I'm a 29 year old female currently wrapping up my PhD in Neuroscience, which looked at the molecular underpinnings of learning and memory. I've just recently stumbled upon the fascinating world of personality types and how our type guides our perception of the world, the people around us and the decisions we make. I'm especially interested in the process through which neuromodulators, released during periods of stress, bonding and romantic love/limerence influence our personalities (and how this might differ between types). My posts will be based on a mixture of thoughts, personal experiences, ideas and things I've read along the way. Since I've traditionally stuck to the molecular/cellular side of neuroscience and possibly scoffed at social psychology in the past (ashamed) I only "discovered" Myers-Briggs theory and myself a week ago, after a seemingly long period of a what I would call an "identity crisis". But more on that later. As an INTP (I think), I'd like to think I have some unique insight to share with all of you, but I don't necessarily think I hold all the answers nor will I be able to express them as clearly as some would wish. So, I welcome all clarifications, challenges, criticisms, different perspectives, thoughts, personal experiences from other INTPs as well as all other personality types that choose to join me on this journey. The idea here is to gain insight into my mind and the mind of others through the mutual sharing of ideas, thoughts and experiences. Onwards.

15 responses to “From an INFJ: the meaning of emotions”

  1. lthibault11 says :

    I have never been so entranced by another’s blog postings as I have been with yours over the last few days. I am absolutely blown away by the similarities of our experiences over the last two to three years. Your experiences mirror mine to such a degree that I thought I was reading my own thoughts. I, like you, began a journey of extreme self-analysis a few years ago, following some difficult life experiences which left me feeling lost, empty and needing to re-define who and what I am. It’s a difficult journey this self-discovery thing, and a lonely one. One of my most intense “aha” moments came when I stumbled onto Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration. Dabrowski posits that pain, anguish and internal conflict are an absolute necessity for the attainment of real growth. He sees it as healthy (in most cases). This was extremely comforting to me and helped me through some of my toughest moments to date.

    I have also been interested in Jung’s theory on personality and gained much insight from the realization that I was INTP. I initially resisted that type, thinking I was much too emotional to fit the label. I have since learned that INTPs do in fact have strong emotions.

    I have learned that I am a highly sensitive, deeply introverted, INTP. A difficult combination, to say the least. It explains to a large degree why I have always felt so different than everyone else. I have never met anyone who was like me. Ever. I know no one who has the same interests, nor the persistent desire to dig deep below the surface for answers, nor the pure love of learning. It has been a huge disappointment for me to realize that I will likely never meet a kindred spirit. Such is life.

    I hope that you will keep posting as I very much look forward to reading more. Your writing is honest, your insights compelling and your knowledge impressive.

    L

    • intpblogger says :

      Hi L,

      Thanks for your comment! I’ve also spent a fair bit of time on your blog and was immediately drawn to your posts on Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration. Especially since his theory aligns well with a lot of my thinking and conclusions from my experiences over the last year (the joys of confirmation bias). I identify with the “spontaneity” of the experience/disintegration and how you rightfully conclude that people don’t just wake up one day with the lofty goal of striving towards “personal happiness”. At least with me, I never really questioned that there was anything other than my “normal, slightly depressed state” and just saw my struggles/frustrations as the natural consequences of daily life. I didn’t ask for my brain to seek out the experiences it did, nor was I fully aware of what was going on at the time and I was certainly not aware of the pain/suffering and months of confusion/disordered thinking that I had set myself up for. I also identify with the conversion from a self-interested/selfish viewpoint (Super Ego) to a more “big-picture/holistic” view where you are helping others at the same time as you are helping yourself. It’s as though the life/personality I had before is now “not good enough”… it is boring/uninteresting/unfulfilling and I’m now on some quest to achieve something bigger than myself. Although I have yet to listen to my intuitions and make that jump into the large unknown.

      Just recently, I found myself questioning whether enlightenment/positive growth/individuation always or usually resulted from a period of suffering/emotional pain, since at least anecdotally, most spiritual/enlightened leaders appear to have gone through a period of suffering, pain and introspection. At the same time I’m fascinated (but not really surprised) by the similarities between the teachings of many of the world’s religions, Jung’s theory of individuation, Maslow’s theory of self-actualization, Carl Rogers’ humanist theory and Dabrowski’s Theory (which I’m glad you brought to my attention). It’s like they are all describing the same thing from different perspectives and with different levels of awareness of what is actually going on (basically filtered through their own personality type “lenses” and their own self-awareness and knowledge). Evidently, the process of individuation/self-actualisation is a highly subjective journey bringing with it lots of “aha” moments and personal insights (see Joseph Campbell’s description of the Hero’s Journey), but the fact that it can be deconstructed into common patterns/themes, including the theme of inner conflict/suffering/disintegration as a major driving force behind it, leads me to believe that these experiences can be fully explained by biology and neuroscience (again, not surprising) and that the answers lie somewhere in the interaction between the “emotional brain” and the “thinking brain”. But, I still have a long list of reading to do before I can make better sense of it.

      On another note, while perusing your blog I realized that you had blogged about a whole bunch of topics I’m also interested in! So much so that I wondered why I couldn’t find a post related to your personality type… could it be, another INTP interested in psychology? I agree with you that most of the stereotypical, MBTI-based INTP profiles don’t encompass the full personality (but this is to be expected, since most people tend to show others only their best/strongest side and sometimes aren’t even aware of their “true selves”). I definitely think that MBTI could benefit from researching more developed examples of each personality type (those that have integrated their third and fourth functions and are hence more self-aware). I would also describe myself as highly sensitive, although up until this last year I acted, at least outwardly, as though nothing affected me emotionally (the more stereotypical INTP robot). I’m now getting use to the fact that I’m acutely aware of even the slightest emotional rumblings and that if something deeply affects me, I need to express it (Fe instead of Fi).

      “A human being is part of a whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
      – Albert Einstein

  2. lthibault11 says :

    Hi there,

    Thanks for responding. I am glad you found the information on Dabrowski useful. Reading his stuff on Positive Disintegration (and Over-Excitabilities) has had a huge impact on how I perceive my (painful) growth experiences. It is a relief to me to know that these difficult feelings are “healthy” and a necessity for real growth. I am comforted by that. There are similarities between Maslow’s and Dabrowski’s theories, but there are also important differences. Maslow believed we should strive to be the best of what we are, whereas Dabrowski believed we should move past what we are, towards a better version of ourselves. There’s much to be said for self-acceptance (Maslow), but I tend to relate more to Dabrowski’s theory. I am accepting of who and what I am, but yet, I want more.

    I did write a little piece on personality typing. It’s called You’re Not My Type and can be found in the August archives. It’s more about understanding, or trying to understand, my life-long feeling of being out of sync. Realizing that I am an INTP and what that means in terms of the way I perceive life is just one more piece of the puzzle in trying to understand myself. I have nowhere near the knowledge you have on the subject, but I continue to be intrigued by it. The post is just my subjective (and humble) observation of what having this personality type means (to me). If you do read it, please ignore the fluff at the end, lol

    It took me a while to accept that I was INTP simply because I have such strong feelings. It was only when I dug deeper into the type that I realized that it is misguided to believe that this type lacks emotion. Quite the contrary I would say. Having said that, and despite my high sensitivity, I generally come across as aloof (at best), and somewhat cold (at worst). What can I say.

    I am intrigued by neuroscience (and psychology), and if I could start all over again…

    Love the Einstein quote. Widening my circle of compassion doesn’t come easy for me, but it’s a valid goal to be sure.

    L

  3. i-tripple-e says :

    firstly – a sincere thanks for your honesty in your posts. i’ve read them cover to cover at least once. i find myself in the throws of a journey with so many parallels to yours. and to be frank, i’m scared of where i’m headed. you have demonstrated a rational victory is possible – at least, without a new post from you, i can only summise it has been just that for you. but questions from me; which i find foremost in mind 24/7 include: is the pursuit/acceptance of a rational, stable relationship sufficient? i am an intp male almost 20 years married/partnered to an estj that i met in high school. my wife is a beautiful dependable, loyal friend. but i’ve been caught completely off guard by an infj who has entered my peripheral. i’ll spare you the details, but back to my question; lets assume once your feelings were declared, your LO reciprocated said feelings. i have yet to do this, but it appears now a likely scenario. what then? how do you turn away from a connection like that? ultimately i feel so compromised regardless of the outcome. i am living ‘the’ lie.

    post soon – pretty please! i crave your narrative.

    • intpblogger says :

      Ugh. I hate to think that someone else is going through the same emotional turmoil! Interpersonal relationships are most definitely the INTP’s Achilles’ Heel; our curse for being so independent and self-aware?

      Hmm… well, by the time I declared my feelings I had already fallen from the very top of the “high” and had come to the conclusion that I had to extricate myself immediately from the situation. However, I was more annoyed/confused by the fact that my LO was (at least in my eyes) messing around with my head, and this most likely precipitated the downfall. Could it have continued on if things remained as stable as they were when we were colleagues? I’d have to say yes, just based on the fact that I was never able to “stop” when I was seeing him on a daily basis. Would I have eventually pushed for a sexual relationship as well? Probably (hopefully) not. Regardless, I think the uncertainty/secrecy/fantasy aspect allows these relationships to survive indefinitely (since your imagination is allowed to run wild creating your ideal version of that other person/relationship) and admitting feelings or moving it to the next level may serve to break this perfect image.

      More than a year later I can honestly say that LO rarely crosses my mind, and I don’t regret the decision one bit. I’ve finally regained control over my mind and life even though there are still a few more details/decisions to be finalized and ironed out for me to set myself on my “desired path”. Yes, I do find the routine of daily life incredibly boring without that extra “spice”, but as long as I find time to get away from everyone to think and read I seem to be fine. So at least from the perspective of someone that has overcome the addiction, yes, we can and do “survive”, life does go on and the downward spiral can even bring some unexpected life lessons, epiphanies, bursts of creativity, etc.

      Although to be completely honest, the addiction/craving for that deep intellectual connection still lurks in the background and beckons whenever I get bored or stressed. So even with increased understanding, I don’t think the problem ever goes away. My experience just serves as a reminder not to get caught up in the “fantasy” again.

      Anyway, I’m not here to judge, but I urge you not to underestimate the emotional bonds that you’ve created with your wife over 20 years, because even if you may not be aware of their strength at the moment, they may come back to haunt you one day.

      At the end of the day, when we are on our deathbeds reliving our lives and all of our choices, our minds are sure to be their own worst critics.

      • i-tripple-e says :

        thanks for taking the time. i heed your words. note its difficult to see from my vantage, but i take your hindsight seriously. all the same, i’m picking out points of difference between your situation and mine in an effort to distance myself from the outcome. in truth the differences are subtle and probably insignificant. my perception is that i face regret irrespective of the choices i make at this point. the internal ‘noise’ is astounding. if placed in the wrong situation today, i’d have limited emotional control / would likely breakdown. this loss of control, and the exposure to that possibility feels good to be frank . @ 33, little, if anything, has been beyond control (should I have desired it). every conversation of consequence is rehearsed / explored / roll played, over and over internally, prior to it being. i cover off all the possibilities and i always know where i stand. i see everything coming. or so i thought. i influence, manipulate and coerce the world and it usually submits.

        more to say; but not the space at the moment (work work work). i’ll post something incoherent when i get a chance.

      • intpblogger says :

        I completely understand. I do exactly the same thing. I think we (INTPs) spend all our energy trying to make the world a predictable and less stressful place to live in, to the point where it kind of sucks the mystery out of it. Things become boring and lackluster and without color. So when something or someone destabilizes us and causes us to loosen that control/grip on life, it lets us see a different, more “fun and exciting” version of the world we live in/life we’ve created for ourselves. The escape from a life of boredom is our ultimate temptation and our brains will find any excuse to justify that.

  4. LimerentLouie says :

    This comment is for intpblogger. I’ve been immersed in discussions on a different website regarding limerence and saw reference to your blog on neuroscience and your potential struggles with limerence as well. In a cross
    keyword search of limerence and Dabrowski I came across this blog. I think
    Dabrowski was really on to something with his Positive Disintegration theory,
    but feel that the transitions between the various levels might actually go
    quite smoothly in a rearing environment that is more “positive” to begin with.
    In other words, I guess I feel that the “crisis” transitions to which he refers
    are going to be felt more by those who had crappy upbringings from the get
    go. Moreover, I’m dissapointed that his theory seems to have dissapeared
    from more general discussions of personality development and has been
    sequestered into the realm of the “gifted”. With that introduction, here’s my
    point and question: Most limerent individuals that I have discussed the
    phenomenon with indicated a sensation, during acute limerence, of identity
    flux or identity instability. Very severe for me and yet Dabrowski’s level II
    or level III seems to address this possibility quite well. Yet I’ve never seen
    reference to the possibility that limerence…or the “triggering” that we receive
    from confrontation with our LOs during peak limerence….might be such an
    event. As you note in your March 12th 1:56 pm entry: “when something or someone destabilizes us and causes us to loosen that control/grip on life, it lets us see a different, more “fun and exciting” version of the world we live in/life we’ve created for ourselves”. I think this would hold true for over 95% of
    the limerents I have heard testimony from. So I’m curious for your opinion: do
    you still feel that this is just about seeing something more “fun and exciting”?
    I’m leaning a bit toward Dabrowski’s idea, based on the testimonials indicating
    the severe mental effects of limerence, that identity restructuring may be afoot.

    • intpblogger says :

      Hi LimerentLouie,

      Thanks for your very insightful and interesting comment and question. I like the link between limerence and Positive Disintegration theory, if only because it was my experience with limerence and its mental/emotional consequences (identity restructuring, as you so eloquently put it) that eventually led me to research whether other people had experienced similar emotional struggles, which then led me into personality theory and further exploration of my own true nature/own true path. A path that, as Dabrowski’s puts it, once you’ve seen and consciously accepted it, you can’t ignore. In my eyes all of these different theories of the human experience are intertwined and co-dependent, with each of them contributing some insight into the inner workings of the human mind.

      I think limerence (with people, with work/achievement, etc) and more talked about drug addictions are very similar (if not the same, biologically)– you reach a point where your actions seem outside of your conscious control. Basically your entire brain and its pathways have rearranged themselves behind this goal: to get high off of this person/drug at all costs (of course, rationalized/justified to yourself as being “in love”). I equate this with Level I of Dabrowski’s theory: it’s a selfish attempt to get one’s own needs met with complete disregard to others (even if you think you are “in love” with this person/object). And yes, early life, as well as accumulated, life stressors (any long-lasting situation where our emotional needs are not being met) will certainly drive the subconscious into trying to have these “lower” needs met. If one “chooses” to continue in limerence (or transfer the limerence to someone/something else– even an obsession with being “busy” see http://bit.ly/yYEVdW), then effectively that person becomes stuck in Level I (a cycle between emotional highs and lows; a disconnect between reality and fantasy). Limerence itself is not the crisis; at its most severe point it’s the turning point/climax– do you continue living life this way, or do you allow yourself to fall, and face the difficult emotional struggles ahead?

      I would equate Level II to the crisis/emotional downspiral I experienced upon confronting my limerence and the vulnerability that ensued (exposing and confronting my inner fears and weaknesses; all the emotions that I had repressed). Even before I started my search for answers, I knew this was a significant turning point in my life and that it couldn’t be ignored (I actually felt like the choice wasn’t mine– my subconscious mind was in complete control). I also recognized the distinction between my true “innate” cognitive processes/behaviors and those that had been learned through social conditioning (since I basically “lost” the habits/behaviors that relied on those cognitive processes). I had to hit rock bottom in order to rebuild, which for me equates to a complete disintegration of my selfish “ego”. On my way up from rock bottom, which I believe was due to a loss of my ego-defenses/self-deception, I definitely went through a period of extreme sensitivity to even small violations of my innate values/principles/nature, which allowed me to see myself how I truly was and to consciously accept those values and allow them to guide my behavior.

      I guess since I now have an imagined “way of being/way of life” I must be in Level III and contemplating a move to Level IV. Although taking a path less trodden is frightening to me, I can now see that I can’t go back and accept my life as it used to be– the consequences to the psyche are just too dire.

      So maybe to answer your question more directly: “do I still feel that this [limerence] is about seeing something more fun and exciting”? Sure, for most people, as it was for me, it’s all about having subconscious needs met, experiencing that “high” and achieving a false sense of wholeness/oneness with the world. It’s what you do next with the experience that ultimately defines your character and your path in life.

      • LimerentLouie says :

        Hello intpblogger,

        First, thank you for allowing me this and hopefully a few more Q&A posts on your blog site. Truly an interesting run of ideas that you are following. Second, thank you for your in-depth response which, if you will allow me, has prompted as many new questions as you have answered. Third, an invitation for your blog follower “lthibault11” to join in the discussion if desired, since she had also indicated a fascination with Dabrowski.

        In the interest of brevity, a bit of background on my for the sake of continued discussion. I’m a 50s-ish male, PhD level research molecular biologist. Married, no kids, no smoking/drugs/alcohol, live rural, work urban, lots of animals….mostly my wife’s project, I’m too much a control freak for that kind of chaos. I’ve had two limerent experiences in my life; none before I was married, the first around 16 years ago, the second last year. The first limerent experience (LE) was for a co-worker and it kicked in within 2 months of my wedding day to my wife. Second LE was for a co-worker as well and started about this time last year. In both cases, limerence subsided after co-workers moved on to new employment situations and contact was eliminated. Although my limerence was certainly ‘fantasy based’, I belong to that sub-set of limerents who, although they found their LOs sexually attractive, did not fantasize sexually about them: In many ways the limerence was driven by a desire for merger and union. The most recent LE was all the more perplexing for the fact that my face-to-face contact, over several months, amounted to no more than a few hours time total.

        More brief background which I personally feel to be relevent to my LE, but also seems to be a trend amongst the individuals populating the other site that I mentioned in my first post to you: Extremely unhappy childhood, which I feel has influenced mate choices, career choice, and lifestyle choice. Can’t recall a single day from my childhood when my parents were happily engaged with each other….this is not hyperbole. I was third-born amongst 4 children, an eldest sister, older brother, younger sister; Catholic raised and schooled, both a schooling, social, and family environment that was highly “shame-based”. Both parents worked, mom slept on couch for most of our younger years since she worked nights while dad worked days. They divorced when youngest (sister) went off to college.

        It was this link ( http://www.healmylife.com/articles/counselling/positive%20breakdown.html ) that first put me onto Dabrowski. (Before this, due to various issues in my personal like, I had become somewhat of an ‘armchair’ psychology student, am a devout fan of ‘attachment theory’, and use Allan Schore’s “Affect Regulation and Origin of the Self” as a point reference for much of the neurobiology of emotional development.) In particular, the twin pillars of “People Pleasing” and “hyper-responsibility” I think are imporant, as what tends to under-gird these two characteristics is, in my opinion, shame……the shame at NOT being able to please everyone and at failing to be responsible in all venues. I think Schore and others would agree that shame is a huge component in the development of personality and that there are neurobiological underpinnings to “re-triggering” internal shame effects in shame-based individuals. Where I feel Dabrowski’s model comes in here is in the ‘crisis’ aspect …… where a hyperly- shame/pleasing/responsible life begins to show cracks in the foundation. I think, at least in my case, that my limerent episodes were just these sort of crises. At the time they occurred, I had either “cemented” a lifestyle that I was highly ambivalent/anxious about (First episode right after getting married) or been living a highly repressed and dissappointing life that I suspect was ready to “give way”….hence, the second LE of last year. In both situations, I think a case can be made for Dabrowski’s model, whereby a crisis is signalling an internal desire to move to the next level….or revert and become retrenched once again in the old pattern.

        Some of your comments that resonated with me:

        1) “Although taking a path less trodden is frightening to me, I can now see that I can’t go back and accept my life as it used to be– the consequences to the psyche are just too dire.”

        I can’t think of a single post-limerent individual testimony that has not made this statement. Most of them do not include your addendum: that ” the consequences to the psyche are just too dire”. It was only yesterday that I think, as I was driving to lunch, that I briefly saw my most recent LO entering a nearby building. At the same time that the burst of “anxious longing” occured, there was a simultaneous voice in my head saying “Don’t make me go back there!….”. I took this to imply that I not only did not want to go back into limerence, but also that I did not want to go back to my life “pre-limerence”. So yes…I think your experience would resonate with many.

        2) “It’s what you do next with the experience that ultimately defines your character and your path in life.”

        Agreed. I think this is what Dabrowski was getting at when he indicated that one can purposefully move forward to a different level, or regress back to a previous stage. But I believe he may have clearly stated that the latter might mean a movement into psychosis or toward suicide. At least that is how the Wiki entry stated it.

        3) “I think limerence (with people, with work/achievement, etc) and more talked about drug addictions are very similar (if not the same, biologically)– you reach a point where your actions seem outside of your conscious control.”

        I can agree that I think there are cross-elements common to both. Indeed, it would not be surprising to learn that many of the neurotransmitters involved in reward ciruits are shared in limerence and drug addiction. Where they part ways, however, I feel is in the “relational background” (and quite possible genetic background as well) that pre-disposes one to limerence. (Also to add the summaries of Canadian physician Gabor Mate who notes that drug-addiction pre-disposition can be linked to abusive pasts.) For me, and I would wager for an increasing number of limerent individuals who I come across, limerence in some way is tapping into past relational traumas. Most telling in this regard are those who become limerent for an LO…..an LO who treats them badly and with contempt! How to explain this except using a model whereby one is trying to resolve past relational traumas?
        Also, “out of control” is not only how I felt about the intrusiveness of thoughts for LO, but also for any sense of “groundedness” during acute limerent episodes.

        4) “And yes, early life, as well as accumulated, life stressors (any long-lasting situation where our emotional needs are not being met) will certainly drive the subconscious into trying to have these “lower” needs met.”

        And this too is an extremely common factor in those who report becoming limerent. So I’m only glad that you reiterated this angle from your own experience.

        In the end, I too am both regretful for the time and energy limerence has extracted from my life, yet grateful that it has provided an oblique window into my psyche in a way that perhaps no other event could have. I don’t know what path you are deciding to take with your life at this point, but with your background in neurobiology, I feel that there is a case to be made for differentiating limerence from “in love” both at the psychological as well as neurobiological level. Perhaps I can give you a “push” in that direction! (?) 🙂

        Thank you again for your previous comments and insight and for any additional comments you can make regarding this posting. I welcome any questions you may have regarding my experience and the contents of this writing.

  5. sina says :

    I’m a civil Engineer, 27 years old, and interested in neuroscience . can you tell me how id that major work for you? are you still interested in it? do you think it”s a good major to pursue as an intp? do you think it’s late for me to start neuro… at this age?
    idk if you are still reading your blog

    • intpblogger says :

      Hi sina,

      Yes, I am still interested in neuro, very much so. Just working on some ideas from outside the Ivory Tower now and planning to redefine myself as an independent researcher/writer. Hopefully I will have a new blog up and running in the next 6 months that deals more with the neuroscience behind some of the more personal issues laid out on this blog!

      If you’ve realized that you are unhappy in your current work or just interested in pursuing new ideas/avenues for a while, I don’t think it’s ever too late! I imagine INTPs are happiest as life-long learners/students where we can bounce around from topic to topic based on our current interests (we may eventually want to share our knowledge & wisdom and get rewarded for it — inferior Fe). That’s probably why I’ve recently taken an interest in Coursera and am taking courses in Neuroeconomics: Neuroscience of Decision-Making and Social Psychology… I find the courses really well done and it is a great and free way for me to fill in the gaps that I need to better understand behavior & human nature. That being said, with your background, the doors should be open to more computational and theory-driven neuro-programs such as reinforcement learning, machine learning, AI & affective computing, information theory, etc. I would see if you can go straight into a Masters/PhD program since Neuroscience programs are usually interdisciplinary and often looking for people with engineering/physics backgrounds. If you are searching for ideas, I recommend reading “Your brain is (almost) perfect” by Read Montague and see if anything catches your eye.

      Good luck!

      • sina says :

        I use coursera and Edx too, “007 Biology” and “emergence of life” and some other neuro, gene and programming courses. the “social psychology” sounded fun too and i registered for it, but since the videos can’t be downloaded, couldn’t make it on that one (Very slow internet in our country (Iran)). As you said, I’m very high on software/web/mobile programming and on physics too, but not in electronics which would be useful in some brain functions i suppose. I’m CURRENTLY interested in how we humans see, hear and consequently record those data in our memory and how we recall things from memory, how our perception works and how we can use those principles for machines and AI. Thanks for the book and your response, very helpful.

  6. tess says :

    I’d love to know if you ever got around to setting up that new blog you mentioned in your comments.

    • intpblogger says :

      Hi Tess,

      Thanks for your interest! I did recently set up a new blog and I’m very excited about it (only one so far though, lol). I think it is lost somewhere in the blogosphere, but I like the anonymity. Gives me a chance to try out some ideas without too much exposure. I was going to wait a bit to announce it on this site, since I only have a few posts, but since you asked so nicely, you can find it here: bleedingedgeneuroscience.com . It’s very much a departure from the emotion-driven, I-need-to-share-this-story style that I used here (although I think the style here was a departure from my true, more calm and logic-oriented self!), since I’m trying to focus on the ideas, theories and science of personality. It still has a lot of technical and design bugs that I need to fix, so please be kind!

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