As Perry struggled to come up with (as it turned out) “The Department of Energy,” his levels of the stress hormone cortisol undoubtedly went through the roof. Cortisol is bad for your brain, particularly the hippocampus, which encodes memories. Perry’s panic caused his brain to be flooded with the hormone, which impaired his cognitive function and memory even more, which released more cortisol. The guy didn’t stand a chance.
Otherwise known as “choking.”