Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADD
This is a great question. I know that the new technologies (which are actually not that new any more) such as MRIs and PET scans are allowing scientists to see what’s happening in real time.
In talking with so many experts for our videos, I’ve learned there are differences, but the actual differences in architecture are not huge. And they are a matter of degree. Just as women are, on average, shorter than men, there are still plenty of women who are taller than plenty of men.
As for what the problem is, there are a number of explanations or models. One suggests our brains are kind of asleep. Another suggests we are reward deprived. In other words, what most people find exciting, interesting, thrilling, etc.. doesn’t quite give us the same pay off. A number of doctors have told me it’s less about architecture and more about the various parts of the brain being out of sync, not working together efficiently. And that’s because the pre-frontal cortex, right behind your forehead, isn’t working as well.
And the pre-frontal cortex does what is called ‘executive functions’. And if you think of the top executives at a company, well, what do they do:
Keeping things moving forward.
Estimating and coordinating.
Setting goals and making sure everyone stays focussed on the goal and doesn’t get distracted onto side projects or dead ends.
Calculating the costs and benefits of taking risks.
Learning from experience.
Managing projects which have many steps.
Long range planning.
And so on.
For myself, I do really well when I’m not the one in charge of keeping track of things or tracking what needs to be done next. I’ve made hundreds of television programs, but the person who makes it happen on time and on budget is the Production Manager. They tell me what needs doing next, and I go do it.