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Researchers Reveal Why People Choke Under Pressure

Thursday, 14 May 2015 03:44 PM

Choking under pressure is common in sports, business, politics, and everyday life. Now scientists think they have uncovered why it happens – a discovery that could help prevent such failures.

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University and the California Institute of Technology conducted brain scans of 26 men and women who engaged in a mentally taxing video game, The New York Times reports.

The researchers gave each participant $100 in real money for winning. But to increase the pressure, they told participants that just one randomly chosen game from the hundreds played during the session would determine how much money was won or lost.

The brain scans showed when the volunteers were presented with potential gains it appeared to decrease activity in a part of the brain linked to physical known as the ventral striatum.

Lead researcher Vikram S. Chib, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins who led the study, said the results indicate that “how someone frames a high-pressure situation, and whether winning or losing is emphasized, affect performance.”

The study was published in The Journal of Neuroscience.

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Choking under pressure is common in sports, business, politics, and everyday life. Now scientists think they have uncovered why it occurs, and what happens in the brain when it does.
choke, under, pressure, explained
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2015-44-14
Thursday, 14 May 2015 03:44 PM
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