Team flow is a unique brain state associated with enhanced information integration and neural synchrony

Contributors:
  1. Daw-an Wu
  2. Chia-huei Tseng
  3. Shinsuke Shimojo

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Description: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.06.17.157990 Team flow occurs when a group of people reaches high task engagement while sharing a common goal as in sports teams and music bands. While team flow is a superior enjoyable experience to individuals experiencing flow or regular socialization, the neural basis for such superiority is still unclear. Here, we addressed this question utilizing a music rhythm task and electroencephalogram hyper-scanning. Experimental manipulations held the motor task constant while disrupted the hedonic musical correspondence to blocking flow or occluded the partner's body and task feedback to block social interaction. The manipulations' effectiveness was confirmed using psychometric ratings and an objective measure for the depth of flow experience through the inhibition of the auditory-evoked potential to a task-irrelevant stimulus. Spectral power analysis revealed higher beta/gamma power specific to team flow at the left temporal cortex. Causal interaction analysis revealed that the left temporal cortex receives information from areas encoding individual flow or socialization. The left temporal cortex was also significantly involved in integrated information at both the intra- and inter-brains levels. Moreover, team flow resulted in enhanced global inter-brain integrated information and neural synchrony. Thus, our report presents neural evidence that team flow results in a distinct brain state and suggests a neurocognitive mechanism by which the brain creates this unique experience.

License: CC-By Attribution 4.0 International

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