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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Investigating Neuro-cognitive Function in Individuals from Different Racial and Ethnic Backgrounds & its Interactions with Resilience

The data associated with this publication are within the manuscript.

Neuro-cognition is our brain’s ability to perform context-appropriate cognitive functions, such as paying attention and maintaining information in working memory, which are associated with specific neural activations. The ability to generate context-appropriate, neuro-cognitively optimal responses to stressful life hardships is a shared aspect of resiliency across all races and ethnicities. We studied how resilience influence neuro-cognitive abilities and if a relationship exists with race and ethnicity. A series of rapid game-like, objective assessments were used to measure internal attention, working memory, distractor processing and emotion processing. We collected demographic characteristics (age, gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status) and measured resilience using the Brief Resilience Scale (BRS). We used generalized linear mixed models to probe the association of demographic factors including race and ethnicity, and resilience with neuro-cognitive performance. Resilience scores alone was not a significant factor contributing to neuro-cognitive performance in these models; however, we found an interaction between multiracial participants and resilience scores for emotional processing consistency. Understanding how race/ethnicity and resilience interact to determine neuro-cognitive abilities can improve the quality of mental healthcare given to diverse Americans, serving to decrease the burden of mental healthcare disparities. 

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