Despite an increasing number of reports on the associations between chronic occupational stress and structural and functional changes of the brain, the underlying neural correlates of perceived occupational stress is still not clear. Perceived stress reflects the extents to which situations are appraised as stressful at a given point in one's life. Using near-infrared spectroscopy, we investigated the associations between perceived occupational stress and cortical activity over the bilateral frontotemporal regions during a verbal fluency test. Sixty-eight participants (17 men, 51 women), 20-62 years of age were recruited. Perceived occupational stress was measured using the Chinese version of Job Content Questionnaire, and the Chinese version of the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory. We found statistically significant negative associations between occupational burnout and brain cortical activity over the fronto-polar and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during the VFT (r = â '0.343 to â '0.464). In conclusion, our research demonstrated a possible neural basis of perceived occupational stress that are distributed across the prefrontal cortex.