Hypofrontality is loosely defined as a decline frontal lobe functioning and metabolism. It’s one of the major brain changes caused by an addiction process.
Hypo mean less than normal or deficient. Frontal refers to the frontal lobes, or prefrontal lobes. Alternately the terms frontal cortex or prefrontal cortex are also used. However, cortex refers to the thin outer layer of densely packed nerve cells, which appears gray. Hypofrontailty means the the frontal lobes are under performing. Simply put, addiction-related hypofrontality is a decline in executive functioning, For an addict, it’s an imbalance of power: Weakened self-control systems (hypofrontality), are overwhelmed by the cravings emanating from sensitized addiction pathways and a desensitized reward circuit. In other words – your willpower has eroded.
More details on on how hypofrontality fits into the wider world of learning and addiction is set out in Unwiring & Rewiring Your Brain.