Relationship Between Prefrontal Cortex Asymmetry, Mental Health, and Stress

Student: Monica Sewell (School of Graduate Studies)

Mentor: Ralf Greenwald


The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is an intricate region of the brain. It is involved with decision making, cognitive performance, disposition, and affect. As a result of these facets, the PFC is always active and firing. A large component to the function of the PFC is stress or more importantly, the lack of stress. When processing emotions or trying to make decisions, stress can be a large inhibitor and obstructer. As a result, stress makes it harder to make sense of circumstances or to think clearly. This is because stress is directly affecting the prefrontal cortex. When stressed for long periods of time, mental health becomes a concern. Both stress and mental health effect the prefrontal cortex in the same ways. People who are high in stress or have a mental disorder, have greater right prefrontal cortex asymmetry. This short review will delve deeper into prefrontal cortex asymmetry and how it relates to mental health and stress.


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