Neuroscientists Claim to Have Pinpointed The Brain States Unique to ‘Team Flow’


At some level in existence, you’ve got most definitely loved a ‘float’ state when you find yourself so intensely fascinated with a job or process, you enjoy a robust sense of keep an eye on, a discounted consciousness of your setting and your self, and a minimized sense of the passing of time.


It’s additionally imaginable to enjoy ‘staff float’, similar to when enjoying track in combination, competing in a sports activities staff, or in all probability gaming. In any such state, we appear to have an intuitive working out with others as we collectively entire the duty to hand.

An world staff of neuroscientists now thinks they’ve exposed the neural states distinctive to staff float, and apparently that those range each from the float states we enjoy as folks, and from the neural states normally related to social interplay.

“In individual flow, the brain shuts down external stimuli that are unrelated to the task. In team flow, the brain still shuts down external stimuli except for the information about the flow state of the teammate. Hence, the team brains start to synchronize more,” neuroscientist Mohammad Shehata, who co-authored the find out about, advised ScienceAlert.

Our brains are made up of billions of neurons that give off electric output after they fireplace, and those collective electric alerts can also be aligned to sure frequencies.

Some examples of the frequencies are alpha, beta, and gamma, that are measured in hertz (Hz) or cycles in keeping with 2d. Typically, those other frequency bands are provide after we carry out sure cognitive duties, and that is the kind of neural process the researchers had been investigating.


Participants’ neural process was once measured the usage of an electroencephalography (EEG) device, the place electrodes are positioned at the skull, detecting process taking place inside the mind.

In the principle segment of the experiment, 38 individuals had been requested to play a sport very similar toGuitar Heroon an iPad, the place you faucet at the display in sync with the rhythm-based cues of a music; they labored in pairs, and the researchers prioritized pairing up two buddies anywhere imaginable.

The analysis staff devised 3 stipulations for the trial; in a single, individuals performed the sport whilst separated from their spouse through a black foam-board partition, giving the researchers knowledge at the mind when in an ‘person’ float state. In the second one situation, other people performed the sport with a spouse, however each once in a while the researchers would play discordant track to disrupt the float.

In the 3rd situation, categorized as ‘staff float’, the individuals performed the sport along with their spouse. The track collection they needed to play on their iPads was once similar in all duties, to reduce any cognitive load.

To ensure that individuals in fact entered a state of float within the desired stipulations, researchers hired two ways. On a subjective stage, after finishing the duty in a single situation, individuals would then must price sure statements like ‘I felt in keep an eye on whilst enjoying this trial’, and ‘How time flies throughout this trial’.


Going additional, the analysis staff additionally sought after to achieve an goal measure of the individuals’ float state, one thing that is notoriously tricky in float research.

“We utilized the intense task-related attention and the reduced sense of external awareness dimensions of flow, and the well-known effect of selective attention on the auditory evoked potential (AEP),” they write within the find out about.

“During each trial, we presented task-irrelevant beeps to the participants. The more the participants were immersed in the game, the weaker the strength of the AEP in response to the task-irrelevant beeps.”

So what characterised the brains of individuals after they had been in a state of staff float?

Researchers discovered higher beta and gamma mind wave process within the left heart temporal cortex. This area of the mind is normally related to knowledge integration and key purposes like consideration, reminiscence, and consciousness, that are “consistent with higher team interactions and enhancing many flow dimensions”,the staff writes.

However, what was once distinctive about staff float, was once that individuals’ neural process seemed to synchronize. When individuals had been acting the duty as a unit, their brains would mutually align of their neural oscillations (beta and gamma process), making a “hyper-cognitive state between the team members”.

If brains can also be functionally hooked up thru inter-brain synchrony, does this imply it isn’t most effective our mind that contributes to our awareness? It’s a curious query, however the authors warn it’s a lot too quickly to inform.

“Based on our findings, we cannot conclude that the high value of integrated information correlates with a modified form of consciousness, for instance, ‘team consciousness’,” they write.

“Its consistency with neural synchrony raises intriguing and empirical questions related to inter-brain synchrony and information integration and altered state of consciousness.”

The find out about was once printed within the magazine eNeuro.


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