According to the Attentional Control Theory, trait anxiety has a greater adverse effect on processing efficiency (i.e. performance effectiveness/ effort) than on accuracy. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) provides a measure of task-related effort in the form of neural activity elicited during cognitive processing. fMRI was used to assess the neural activation (Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) contrast estimates) in a priori regions of interest for a reasoning task. Our results indicate that a compensatory increased neural effort is required by high trait anxious individuals to maintain an equivalent task performance as that of low anxiety individuals.