How Your Brain Is Activated When You Work In A Team

The main peculiarity of humanity with respect to other animal species lies in the complexity of its social organization, which allows us to achieve through cooperation feats that would otherwise be unthinkable. In fact, it seems that when we work as a team , the team is more than the sum of the parts.

This is evidenced by a research carried out by an international team of scientists and published in the journal bioRxiv , in which the authors have found that during teamwork a state is reached in which there is greater integration of information and greater Neural synchrony, which translates into better performance when performing a given task and positive emotional effects.

“Team flow”
The experiment consisted of scanning the brain activity of 15 participants of both sexes with trained musical skills while they played a musical game grouped in pairs. Subsequently, they were made to play the same way, but separated by an opaque screen from their teammates. As a control variable, the rhythm of the game was interrupted with external stimuli, such as beeps or music manipulations.

With this method, the scientists were able to verify that, when there was no separation between the members of each team, they achieved greater concentration on the task and were less distracted by external stimuli, in addition to obtaining better results.

Beyond this, they also detected that in the first scenario the participants’ brains showed more beta and gamma wave activity , related to tasks of high cognitive processing, learning, happiness and integration of new information.

A good part of this activity took place in the temporal left cortex, in charge of processes such as language, hearing and certain emotions, something that makes sense if we consider that it was a musical game. The funny thing is that they found that this part of the brain was receiving information from others in charge of processes such as concentration and socialization.

In fact, when the participants entered this state that the researchers call “team flow”, the synchrony also increased both between different regions of the brain (intracerebral) and between the brains of the participants (intercerebral).

In this way, the researchers have tried to identify the brain characteristics of a mental state that, until now, had only been able to be defined on the basis of subjective questionnaires. In this way, they propose a novel neural model of the “team flow”, although it will have to be confirmed with future research.