When a group of people work together to achieve a common goal, members often find themselves in some kind of shared cognitive state. This is often referred to as “team flow”. According to a new study, by measuring the neural activity of cooperating pairs, a unique “brain fingerprint” associated with the condition can be identified.
Previous studies have already sought to understand the neural correlates of so-called “flow states,” which are characterized by “high interest in a task, easy spontaneous action, a strong sense of control, and low awareness of the external environment.” However, most of this previous research has focused exclusively on individual conditions and, in the case of teams, has paid little attention to the nature of the phenomenon itself.
The eNeuro In a study now published in a scientific journal by scientists using electroencephalography (EEG) They measured the brainwaves of 10 volunteers in pairs as they played a music video game together on a tablet. During the trial, in some cases, the duo were able to play the game without a hitch and work together to perform a song, but in other cases, players were separated by a screen. During the research, the participants were sometimes allowed to play together, but the music presented to them was mixed, which
It allowed teamwork but prevented any player from reaching “team flow” status.
Analyzing their data, the specialists noted a unique pattern of brain activity during teamwork. All this specifically led to increased beta and gamma brain waves in a region of the brain called the middle temporal cortex. They are involved in a number of cognitive functions, including attention, memory, and awareness. As the researchers note, “Team flow improved global integrated information and neural synchronization between two people’s brain,” as players’ brain activity was better coordinated when they came in a common rhythm.According to the study, the data suggests that working together can create a state of “hypercognition” among team members, however, the scientists reported that their research does not show “group consciousness.”
The IFL Science The experts also told the scientists that they believe their findings can be used to create more effective models when it comes to measuring and improving team performance in a variety of settings, including sports, music, and organizational culture.
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