DiGiorgio recalled working with LaRocque as a notable experience: Schuldiner only wanted LaRocque to play solo sections, so he only sent LaRocque the few bars of the songs where the solo would be. LaRocque would then arrive at the studio without much preparation, and largely improvised the solos, impressing everyone. In a 2021 interview, LaRocque would downplay this account, saying that he did prepare multiple ideas and alternate melody lines for each solo.
This album contains the track "The Philosopher", for which a music video was made that received airplay on MTV and was even featured on, and comically panned by, Beavis and Butt-Head where the duo mistake the boy in the video for "Jeremy" from the Pearl Jam video and mock Schuldiner's vocals. The album is included in Guitar Player Magazine's Metal Guitar albums top 20. The album was reissued and remixed by Relapse Records in October 2011.
Jason Arnopp of Kerrang! in his positive review considered Individual Thought Patterns the band's best album since Leprosy from 1988, attributing it in parts to band leader Chuck Schuldiner's choice of personnel. Arnopp noted especially Gene Hoglan's drumming and the guitar work of Schuldiner and Andy LaRocque, concluding that together with bassist Steve Di Giorgio "they create an altogether heavier din than was the case with last year's 'Human' album, while still adding Trad Metal/Progressive touches in an almost surreal fashion."