Latest Issue of Science News

4/18 Cover

News

Brain scan foretells who will fold under pressure

Tests on high-stakes math problems identify key regions of neural activity linked to choking

By
1:33pm, April 2, 2012

CHICAGO — As any high school senior staring down the SAT knows, when the stakes are high, some test-takers choke. A new study finds that activity in distinct parts of the brain can predict whether a person will remain cool or crumble under pressure.

The results, presented April 1 at the annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, offer some great new clues that may help scientists understand how the brain copes with stressful situations, says psychologist Thomas Carr of Michigan State University in East Lansing. “Sometimes you come across a study you wish you'd done yourself,” he says “This is such a study.”

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.

More from Science News