Without a doubt, this has happened to you as a student. After weeks of preparing for an exam, you look at the exam paper and get a terrible feeling of panic: your mind is as blank as the answer sheet in front of you. Everything you have studied suddenly has disappeared and you can't remember anything.
However, it's all just down to the stress of trying to take control of the situation. If you have studied properly (rather than cramming and not sleeping the night before), all the information you need is right there stored in your brain. So, all you need to do is to calm down and locate the information file.
Dr. Sagrario Manzano, Coordinator of the Behavior and Dementia Study Group of the Spanish Neurological Society offers the following simple explanation: "At times like these, you are under so much stress and there is so much information to recall that it seems that you can't remember anything. That's the biggest mistake in most cases".
However, sometimes these mental blocks are more than an appearance and actually prevent the remembering process from working normally. "Another aspect is that the stress can become so intense that our frontal lobe (the conductor of our brain) blocks access to our memory bank, and we are unable to call upon all the perfectly stored information, simply because this inhibitory network has been activated. Therefore, anyone who finds it difficult to overcome this type of mental block should practice relaxation techniques".