Neural Correlates for Psychological Flow

Project: Research

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Flow is a desired optimal state of experience where one is completely absorbed in an activity (i.e., in the “zone”), e.g., when watching a movie, reading a novel, or pursuing one’s hobby. The flow state is associated with positive emotions, creativity, and well-being. It is characterized by a balance of challenge and skill, clear goals, immediate feedback, focused concentration, time distortion, control over the activity, loss of self-consciousness, merging of actions and awareness, and autotelic (i.e., self-rewarding) experience. Our research objective is to identify the neural correlates of the flow state based on its electroencephalogram activity so future research can test interventions (e.g., use of colors, special effects, and animations) to induce or enhance the flow state and adapt systems design to achieve the optimal state of flow. Our research will not only help enhance a neurocognitive model of flow, but it can also help increase positive emotions and well-being. 


Project number7020081
Grant typeSIRG
Effective start/end date1/04/23 → …