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Neuroscientists Claim that they can Have Pinpointed The Mind States Unique to ‘Team Flow’

At some stage in existence, you’ve most likely enjoyed a ‘flow’ condition – when you are so intensely centered on an activity or activity, you have a powerful feeling of control, a lower understanding of your atmosphere and yourself, along with a minimized feeling of the passing of your time. 


You can also experience ‘team flow’, for example when playing music together, competing inside a sports team, or possibly gaming. In this condition, we appear with an intuitive understanding with other people once we jointly complete the job at hands. 

An worldwide group of neuroscientists now thinks they’ve uncovered the neural states unique to team flow, also it seems these differ both in the flow states we all experience as individuals, and in the neural states typically connected with social interaction.

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“In individual flow, the mind shuts lower exterior stimuli which are unrelated towards the task. In team flow, the mind still shuts lower exterior stimuli aside from the data concerning the flow condition from the teammate. Hence, they brains begin to synchronize more,” neuroscientist Mohammad Shehata, who co-authored the research, told Science Atlas.

Our minds comprise vast amounts of neurons that provide off electrical output once they fire, which collective electrical signals could be aligned to particular frequencies.

A few examples from the frequencies are alpha, beta, and gamma, that are measured in hertz (Hz) or cycles per second. Typically, these different frequency bands can be found whenever we perform certain cognitive tasks, which is the kind of neural activity they were investigating. 


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Participants’ neural activity was measured utilizing an electroencephalography (EEG) machine, where electrodes are put around the cranium, discovering activity happening inside the brain. 

Within the primary phase from the experiment, 38 participants were requested to experience a game title similar to Guitar Hero with an iPad, in which you tap on screen synchronized using the rhythm-based cues of the song they labored in pairs, and also the researchers prioritized pairing up two buddies whenever we can. 

The study team devised three conditions for that trial in a single, participants performed the sport while separated using their partner with a black foam-board partition, giving they data around the brain while in an ‘individual’ flow condition. Within the second condition, people performed the sport having a partner, but from time to time they would play discordant music to disrupt the flow.

Within the third condition, called ‘team flow’, the participants performed the sport along with their partner. The background music sequence they’d to experience on their own iPads was identical in most tasks, to reduce any cognitive load.

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To make sure participants really joined a condition of flow within the preferred conditions, researchers employed two techniques. On the subjective level, after finishing the job in a single condition, participants would then need to rate certain statements like ‘I felt in charge while playing this trial’, and ‘How time marches on in this trial’.


Going further, the study team also desired to gain an objective way of measuring the participants’ flow condition, something that’s notoriously difficult in flow studies. 

“We utilized the brilliant task-related attention and also the reduced feeling of exterior awareness size of flow, and also the well-known aftereffect of selective attention around the auditory evoked potential (AEP),” they write within the study.

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“During each trial, we presented task-irrelevant beeps towards the participants. The greater the participants were immersed hanging around, the less strong the effectiveness of the AEP as a result of the job-irrelevant beeps.” 

What exactly characterised the brains of participants once they were inside a condition of team flow?

Researchers found elevated beta and gamma brainwave activity within the left middle temporal cortex. This region from the mental abilities are typically connected with information integration and key functions like attention, memory, and awareness, that are “in line with greater team interactions and enhancing many flow dimensions”, they writes.

However, that which was unique about team flow, was that participants’ neural activity made an appearance to synchronize. When participants were performing the job like a unit, their marbles would mutually align within their neural oscillations (beta and gamma activity), developing a “hyper-cognitive condition between your team people”.

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If brains could be functionally connected through inter-brain synchrony, performs this mean it isn’t just our brain that includes to the awareness? It is a curious question, however the authors warn it’s way too soon to inform.

“According to our findings, we can’t conclude the quality value of integrated information correlates having a modified type of awareness, for example, ‘team consciousness’,” they write.

“Its consistency with neural synchrony raises intriguing, notable and empirical questions associated with inter-brain synchrony and knowledge integration and altered condition of awareness.”

The research was printed within the journal eNeuro.

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