Presentation Title

Physiological and Neurological Correlates of a Flow State in the Musical Domain

Presenter Information

Skyler Bourque

Mentor

Susan Menees

Location

David F. Putnam Science Center - 154

Abstract

A flow experience is categorized as a state of effortless attention, where a mindset of complete concentration becomes so focused that it leads to total absorption of an activity (Csikszentmi halyi, 1997). Maslow (1959) regarded these as “peak experiences”, defined by moments of happiness and encouragement that ultimately give one a sense of one’s true potential. The current study uses musicians as the sample group. Due to perceived controlability of flow, (Jackson, 1995) expertise will be controlled for in order to increase the probability of participants reaching a flow state. The current hypotheses states that the effortless attention that gives rise to peak performance during a flow state is due to synchronization of attention and reward networks in sensory-motor regions of the brain known as convergence zones (Damasio, 1989). Participants were asked to bring in one song to be performed over five trials. EEG, GSR, and arterial blood flow were all measured along with the Flow State Scale developed by Jackson and Marsh (1994).

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Apr 11th, 3:05 PM Apr 11th, 4:05 PM

Physiological and Neurological Correlates of a Flow State in the Musical Domain

David F. Putnam Science Center - 154

A flow experience is categorized as a state of effortless attention, where a mindset of complete concentration becomes so focused that it leads to total absorption of an activity (Csikszentmi halyi, 1997). Maslow (1959) regarded these as “peak experiences”, defined by moments of happiness and encouragement that ultimately give one a sense of one’s true potential. The current study uses musicians as the sample group. Due to perceived controlability of flow, (Jackson, 1995) expertise will be controlled for in order to increase the probability of participants reaching a flow state. The current hypotheses states that the effortless attention that gives rise to peak performance during a flow state is due to synchronization of attention and reward networks in sensory-motor regions of the brain known as convergence zones (Damasio, 1989). Participants were asked to bring in one song to be performed over five trials. EEG, GSR, and arterial blood flow were all measured along with the Flow State Scale developed by Jackson and Marsh (1994).