Skip to comments.Brain scan foretells who will fold under pressure
Posted on 04/03/2012 1:07:31 AM PDT by U-238
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.
In the study, Andrew Mattarella-Micke and Sian Beilock, both of the University of Chicago, had volunteers perform math problems, some easy, some hard, while undergoing a functional MRI scan. These two-step calculations were designed to tap into a persons working memory: Participants had to hold an intermediate number in mind to correctly calculate the final answer.
After volunteers had performed about 25 minutes of low-stakes math, the researchers ratcheted up the pressure. Participants were told that their performance had been monitored the whole time, and if they improved, they would get 60 bucks instead of the 30 they had been promised. In addition to raising the financial stakes, the researchers added social pressure, too. They told volunteers that if the participants failed to improve, a teammate would lose money.
Extra pressure didnt interfere with peoples performance on the easy questions. On the hard questions, accuracy dropped by about 10 percent on average. But individually, some people were able to handle the pressure better than others.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencenews.org ...
I had a brain scan once.
Thank goodness they didn't find anything.
So, a brain scan can tell if you’re a Republican?
Good to hear. Did they test you for ‘folding under pressure’, btw?
Reread my reply. That should tell you EVERYTHING you need to know.
I had a BRAIN scan once.
Thank goodness they didn't find ANYTHING. ;)
Of course. That's because Republicans actually HAVE a brain.
...maybe facing a charging bear, or a mountain lion, or a pcp-crazed maniac swinging a hatchet, or sliding uncontrollably on black ice going 60mph, or watching obama sign things, but a math problem? I don’t think so.
I think many of us have had the experience of being able to do something flawlessly when no one is watching, but then be utterly unable to do it as soon as there is an audience.
It’s not surprising that the brain scans show differing brain activity with the stress.
> A new study finds that activity in distinct parts of the brain can predict whether a person will remain cool or crumble under pressure.
Any special warfare instructor worth his salt can do the same prediction. It’s his job to separate those who will cave from those who are cool and calm under extreme stress.