Stress Makes Us Stupid

So much for people's ability to perform well under pressure: MRI scans carried out on stressed-out students about to take exams showed reduced activity in their prefrontal cortices—the area that controls attention, task-planning and judgment—and they did far worse on tasks than a relaxed control group. The best part? The study's subjects were medical students. So the next time you're being treated for something painful or life-threatening, cross your fingers that your doctor isn't too overburdened to think straight. [Newsday]