Stress caused by Racism affects the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex

The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, together with other connected areas, is assumed to be important in working memory and executive function–including the regulation of thinking and action. Damage to this region provokes dysexecutive syndrome.

“The most common belief regarding the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is that it is crucial for conscious processes, flexible behavior, decision making, attention, and even emotion regulation. It is a very diverse area with many subcomponents that seem to participate in different things. What is said about the prefrontal cortex is inferred from lesion studies (brain damage), electrophysiology (neural recordings) and neuroanatomy (brain architecture and connectivity). Computational models attempt to tie these experimental threads together.”

-Yohan John, PhD in Cognitive and Neural Systems from Boston University

The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is a part of the brain located on the frontal lobes in each of the brain’s hemispheres. Dopamine systems seem to be of special importance in this region. It is extensively connected to several other areas of the brain, such as the thalamus, the hippocampus, and the parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes of the cortex. These structural features are related to the function of this region, such as working memory and executive processes involving thought and action.

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