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“NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, 2015, 6, 280-285
A neural model of individual differences
Frederick T. Travis1, Robert Keith Wallace2
1Center for Brain, Consciousness and Cognition, Maharishi University of Management, 2Department of Physiology, Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa, USA
Address for correspondence:
Dr. Frederick Travis,
1000, North Fourth Street, MR 683, Fairfield, Iowa 52557, USA.
This paper explores brain patterns associated with the three categories of regulatory principles of the body, mind, and behavior in Ayurveda, called Vata, Pitta, and Kapha dosha. A growing body of research has reported patterns of blood chemistry, genetic expression, physiological states, and chronic diseases associated with each dosha type. Since metabolic and growth factors are controlled by the nervous system, then each dosha type should be associated with patterns of functioning of six major areas of the nervous system: the prefrontal cortex, the reticular activating system, the autonomic nervous system, the enteric nervous system, the limbic system, and the hypothalamus. For instance, the prefrontal cortex, which includes the anterior cingulate, ventral medial, and the dorsal lateral cortices, and exhibit a high range of functioning in the Vata brain-type leading to the possibility of being easily overstimulated. The Vata brain-type performs activity quickly. Learns quickly and forgets quickly. Their fast mind gives them an edge in creative problem solving. The Pitta brain-type reacts strongly to all challenges leading to purposeful and resolute actions. They never give up and are very dynamic and goal oriented. The Kapha brain-type is slow and steady leading to methodical thinking and action. They prefer routine and needs stimulation to get going. A model of dosha brain-types could provide a physiological foundation to understand individual differences. This model could help individualize treatment modalities to address different mental and physical dysfunctions. It also could explain differences in behavior seen in clinical as well as in normal populations.
Key words: Ayurveda, brain-types, Kapha, nervous system, Pitta, Vata
Typologies have been delineated for body structure (ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph),