The experience of team flow, when a group gets “in the zone” to accomplish a task together, has its own unique brain state, distinct from that of teamwork or solo flow, according to new research published in eNeuro.
Shehata et al. used EEG to measure the brain activity of teams of two while they played a music video game together. In some trials, a partition separated the teammates so they couldn’t see each other while they played, allowing a solo flow state but preventing team flow. In other trials, the research team scrambled the music, which prevented a flow state but still allowed teamwork. Participants answered questions after each game to assess their level of flow. The researchers compared the brain activity of the participants during each condition. They found a unique signature of team flow: increased beta and gamma brain waves in the middle temporal cortex, a type of brain activity linked to information processing. Teammates also had more synchronized brain activity during the team flow state compared to the regular teamwork state. In future work, the researchers plan to utilize the neural signature of team flow to monitor and enhance team performance and, perhaps, build more effective teams.
Paper title: Team Flow Is a Unique Brain State Associated With Enhanced Information Integration and Inter-Brain Synchrony
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for full-text PDF and to join SfN's journals media list.
eNeuro is an online, open-access journal published by the Society for Neuroscience. Established in 2014, eNeuro publishes a wide variety of content, including research articles, short reports, reviews, commentaries and opinions.
About The Society for Neuroscience
The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 37,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.
Subject of Research
Team flow is a unique brain state associated with enhanced information integration and inter-brain synchrony
Article Publication Date
Authors declare no conflicts of interest.