This question is related to this question about introverts becoming exhausted after extended social events on cognitive sciences stack exchange.

As I read more on the topic of human extraversion-introversion, I keep seeing the mention of "energy" which extraverts draw from social engagements and introverts expend in such engagements.

  • When energy is drained, the state can be called "exhaustion", depletion, being drained
  • When enough energy is accumulated, the state can be called "elation", being energized

The idea makes sense, and I see many diverse writers use it, but nobody defines what this energy is in a biological sense.

What is the biological mechanism behind "energy" spent/gained in social interactions - what is it in brain terms? I'm looking for an answer like: Dopamine in X part of the brain? Mirror neuron activation? Amygdala overreacting?

I found a quote from this article on introversion, although it does not seem to have any sources listed

Research has shown that the mind of an introvert works differently than the mind of an extrovert. Introverts have more pronounced activity in the parts of the brain that deal with long term memory, planning, complex thinking and organizing. Our introverted mind is always turning and running and because of this, we need very little outside stimulation. The extrovert's brain has more pronounced activity in the areas associated with sensing and processing information from the outside. That's why extroverts seek outside stimulation

What are the scientific names of the brain regions described in the quote above?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You are probably asking this question 50 years too soon. If we don't know how sleep works then I doubt we know how psychic energy works. $\endgroup$ – LateralFractal Nov 18 '14 at 6:40
  • $\begingroup$ A completely anecdotal observation: extraverted people are more physically active in social situations and use more gestures/movement. They would be moving more than introverted people (who are more likely to just sit and listen), thus extraverts may benefit from improved blood circulation, thus sustaining higher levels of engagement for longer. An introvert who's engaged in an interesting conversation moves/gestures just as much as an ordinary extravert, and thus feels less fatigue from social situations. $\endgroup$ – Alex Stone Jan 27 '15 at 21:11
  • $\begingroup$ Another observation: Both extraverts and introverts would be fatigued by an extended "sit here and listen to me talk" kind of meeting that runs for 2 hours. $\endgroup$ – Alex Stone Jan 27 '15 at 21:14
  • $\begingroup$ Why do we like movies then? $\endgroup$ – user17124 Oct 24 '15 at 14:10

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