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Advances in Neuroscience Offer A New Way to Beat Test Anxiety

Advances in Neuroscience Offer A New Way to Beat Test Anxiety

An Arizona Neuropsychologist's groundbreaking discovery of how the brain's stress response works has led to a paradigm shift in how to address test anxiety.

Dr. Amy Serin discovered BLAST (bi-lateral alternating stimulation delivered tactile) technology. By embedding into a wearable device called the TouchPoints, users can overcome debilitating test anxiety. Simply put the TouchPoints on during test prep and before and during exams. The unique vibrations the TouchPoints give to users allow alter the body's stress response allowing the higher thinking executive functions to operate without the hindrance of the fight or fight response system (F3).

This video below highlights how an Arizona State University Student used TouchPoints during exams and to cope with the overall stress of college. 


Test Anxiety has been plaguing people for years. In 1908  Robert Yerkes and John Dodson quantified what too much (or not enough) stress can do to overall performance during tasks; Yerkes-Dodson Law (Diamond et al., 2007). 

 Yerkes- Dodson Law

Ideally, to excel during things like exams, we want to hover right around that middle line where the amount of “stress” in our lives is mild to moderate and our performance can be at its peak.“Good stress” is just enough to perform but when the body activates too much of it, performance suffers.  This has to do with too much sympathetic nervous system arousal which then starts to shut down the higher order thinking functions that help us plan, organize, and maintain control in favor of lower level reptilian brain stuff like reactivity, impulsivity, and reduced motor control.   Striking the balance, or what neuroscientists call homeostasis, is critical for our mental and physical well-being and optimal performance.  


Want to perform well on tests?  Try TouchPoints! If you feel stressed when you are studying and then try them just before a test to calm your anxiety or even during tests to keep you in the zone. 

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