April 22, 2022 – Pat Sajak knows something brain researchers have spent decades confirming: Anyone can choke under pressure.

You blank on a movie title. You freeze at a pop question. You forget – momentarily – the name of someone you’ve known for 30 years.

If you’re lucky, it’s in front of a close friend or small group.

At least you don’t do it in front of 8 million people, as happened this year on Wheel of Fortune. A seemingly simple puzzle stumped two players, who of course faced ridicule online.

“These are good people in a bad situation under a kind of stress that you can’t begin to appreciate from the comfort of your couch,” Sajak tweeted in their defense.

But you won’t find brain researchers trolling the poor players. They understand.

Taraz Lee, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, likens our powers of attention to a spotlight. “When people get under pressure, that spotlight narrows,” he says. “Instead of seeing the big picture and trying a lot of different things, you really get stuck in a rut.”

Read the full article at WebMD.