Have you ever heard of flow state? Also known as the flow state, it is a temporary state in which the brain reaches peak focus and productivity, being disconnected from any distraction that may be present. In a study published in the scientific journal Communication Magazine Oxford University researchers have tried to understand how the brain enters this state.
To investigate how the brain enters this state, researchers asked 142 people to play video games. When the game difficulty level was too low, participants reported boredom, while too high a difficulty level led to frustration. On medium difficulty, players are fully engaged.
The initial discovery led the paper’s authors to understand that the state of flow arises when a person is so immersed in an activity that they barely notice any distractions, but are also able to complete the task easily enough not to become discouraged.
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With this in mind, the scientists attempted to distract study participants with a red circle in the corner of the screen. The idea is that participants should report whenever they notice this circuit. At the medium difficulty level, players were so focused that they noticed this distraction even slower.
What is the flow state?
Through magnetic resonance imaging, scientists have found that in the case of flow, the connection within certain brain networks becomes stronger. According to the article, standard brain configurations become more “efficient,” which may explain why complex tasks are easier to perform.
The scientists observed this effect primarily in a brain region called the central executive network, also known as the frontal parietal network, which is associated with focused attention and complex problem solving.
source: Communication Magazine
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