Sian Beilock posted an interesting commentary on what’s going on in the brain when you’re choking. Dwelling on a negative outcome actually shows up in an fMRI brainscan: your flight or fight amygdala lights up and your motor controls drops. So you can’t run as fast, make the delicate chip shot or get a damn first serve in. You give up unconsciously.
On the flip side, focusing on a great outcome, the brain doesn’t pre-emptively hit the panic button and you have full access to the parts of the brain controlling motor activity. Which means you can probably get your first serve in.
I think I want an fMRI for my birthday.
Related articles by Zemanta
- Freeze or run? Not that simple (eurekalert.org)