We now know why we mess up when the stakes are high

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A brain mechanism that enables us to carry out tasks to achieve a certain reward may get disrupted when a jackpot prize is in sight

England’s men’s football captain Harry Kane after his team was knocked out of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 quarter final in December 2022The prospect of a reward usually motivates us to perform

better, but a particularly big one can have the opposite effect – like losing at a penalty shoot-out. Now, researchers have identified a potential brain mechanism that may cause us to choke under pressure.

 

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