Making a Good Brain Great Quiz

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Copyright 2005 Daniel G. Amen, M.D.

Please rate yourself on each of the symptoms listed below using the following scale. If possible, to give us the most complete picture, have another person who knows you well (such as a spouse, lover, or parent) rate you as well.

0 – Never

1 – Rarely

2 – Occasionally

3 – Frequently

4 – Very Frequently


  1. Failure to give close attention to details; careless mistakes
  2. Trouble sustaining attention in routine situations (e.g.,homework, chores, paperwork)
  3. Trouble listening
  4. Failure to finish things, procrastination
  5. Poor time organization
  6. Loses things
  7. Easily distracted
  8. Poor planning skills, lack of clear goals or forward thinking
  9. Difficulty expressing empathy for others
  10. Impulsiveness (saying or doing things without thinking first)
  11. Excessive or senseless worrying
  12. Upset when things do not go your way
  13. Upset when things are out of place
  14. Tendency to be oppositional or argumentative
  15. Tendency to have repetitive negative thoughts
  16. Tendency toward compulsive behaviors
  17. Intense dislike for change
  18. Tendency to hold grudges
  19. Needing to have things done a certain way or you become very upset
  20. Tendency to say no without first thinking about question
  21. Frequent feelings of sadness or moodiness
  22. Negativity
  23. Decreased interest in things that are usually fun or pleasurable
  24. Feelings of hopelessness about the future
  25. Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, or powerlessness
  26. Feeling dissatisfied or bored
  27. Crying spells
  28. Sleep changes (too much or too little)
  29. Appetite changes (too much or too little)
  30. Chronic low self-esteem
  31. Frequent feelings of nervousness or anxiety
  32. Symptoms of heightened muscle tension b(headaches, sore muscles, hand tremors)
  33. Tendency to predict the worst
  34. Conflict avoidance
  35. Excessive fear of being judged or scrutinized by others
  36. Excessive motivation, can’t stop working
  37. Tendency to freeze in anxiety-provoking situations
  38. Shyness or timidity
  39. Sensitivity to criticism
  40. Fingernail-biting or skin-picking
  41. Trouble finding the right word
  42. Mood instability or changes
  43. Short fuse, aggression, or periods of extreme irritability
  44. Frequent misinterpretation of comments as negative when they are not
  45. Periods of panic and/or fear for no specific reason
  46. Visual or auditory changes, such as seeing shadows or hearing muffled sounds
  47. Frequent periods of déjà vu (feelings of being somewhere you have never been)
  48. Sensitivity or mild paranoia
  49. Dark thoughts, may involve suicidal or homicidal thoughts
  50. Periods of forgetfulness or memory problems
  51. Poor handwriting
  52. Trouble maintaining an organized work area
  53. Tendency to have multiple piles around the house
  54. Greater sensitivity to noise
  55. Particular sensitivity to touch or to certain clothing or tags on the clothing
  56. Tendency to be clumsy or accident-prone
  57. Trouble learning new information or routines
  58. Trouble keeping up in conversations
  59. Light sensitivity; easily bothered by glare, sunlight, headlights, or streetlights
  60. More sensitivity than others to the environment
Answer Key

OPrefrontal cortex (PFC) symptoms, questions 1–10

Anterior cingulate gyrus (ACG) symptoms, questions 11–20

Deep limbic system (DLS) symptoms, questions 21–3 Basal ganglia (BG) symptoms, questions 31–40

Temporal lobe (TL) symptoms, questions 41–50 Cerebellum (CB) symptoms, questions 51–60




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