Research CommentariesNeuroscience

The Biology of Being Frazzled

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Science  12 Jun 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5370, pp. 1711-1712
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5370.1711

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Under stress, our brain works differently. From our own experiences we know this, but now several lines of research are defining the neurobiology behind these changes. In her commentary, Arnsten summarizes recent work that demonstrates that some kinds of memory become enhanced (such as the image of a gruesome accident), while higher order thinking, mediated by a region of the brain called the prefrontal cortex, becomes impaired.