Main Menu (Mobile)- Block
Main Menu - Block
Incentives tend to drive improvements in performance. But when incentives get too high, we can “choke under pressure” and underperform when it matters most. What neural processes might lead to choking under pressure? We studied Rhesus monkeys performing a challenging reaching task in which they underperform when an unusually large “jackpot” reward is at stake. We observed a collapse in neural information about upcoming movements for jackpot rewards: in the motor cortex, neural planning signals became less distinguishable for different reach directions when a jackpot reward was made available. We conclude that neural signals of reward and motor planning interact in the motor cortex in a manner that can explain why we choke under pressure.