You’re Not Alone: Monkeys Choke Under Pressure Too


Now you can blame the primate brain. And neuroscientists are eager for a deeper look.

SITTING ALONE IN a dim room in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Earl flung his arm to the left. He slowed his movement down, examining the position of a cursor on the computer screen in front of him. Where his hand went, so did the cursor. Earl gestured the dot closer to a colorful target zone, just as he had done thousands of times before. This time, he expected a big reward, but instead—time’s up. Earl, a rhesus monkey, choked under the pressure. He didn’t move the dot into the target before the timer ran out.

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