Neural Correlates of Choking Under Pressure: Athletes High in Sports Anxiety Monitor Errors More When Performance Is Being Evaluated

Hiroaki Masaki, Yuya Maruo, Alexandria Meyer, Greg Hajcak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the relationship between performance-related anxiety and the neural response to errors. Using the sport anxiety scale, we selected university athletes high in sports anxiety and low in sports anxiety. The two groups performed a spatial Stroop task while their performance was being evaluated by an experimenter and also during a control (i.e., no evaluation) condition. The error-related negativity was significantly larger during the evaluation than control condition among athletes who reported high performance-related anxiety. These results suggest that performance evaluation may make errors particularly aversive or salient for individuals who fail to perform well under pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-112
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Neuropsychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Feb 17


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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