The Impact of Stress on Decision-making Neurobiology of decision-making
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Stress affects the decision-making process. Stress leads to loss of “top-down” control of the prefrontal cortex over subcortical brain structures and thereby disturbs prefrontal cortex functioning associated with decision-making . Moreover, functional MRI studies revealed the common brain regions involved in the control of the stress response and decision-making such as the medial PFC, lateral PFC, orbitofrontal cortex, ACC, as well as the amygdala . Interestingly, decision-making involves a conflict between emotional and cognitive control systems, which has an impact on the final choice. Stress may interfere in this competition between emotion and cognitive functioning and thereby impair decision-making. The complex neural mechanism underlying the interaction between stress and decision-making is not completely understood. There are some factors which influence decision-making under stressful conditions such as gender and the time-dependent effects of corticosteroid hormones.