Flow and Creativity
Working with the oldest private research university in California on the correlation between flow states and creative moments and determining which aspects of flow are most prevalent in creative moments.
With Glen Fox at University of Southern California
Flow and CBD
With UCLA we examine the effects of CBD on the amount of time it takes to drop into flow, the depth of flow experienced, and recovery.
With Ojai Energetics and University of California, Los Angeles
Neurobiology of Flow
Explores the neurobiological signature of flow using fMRI and PET with Andy Newberg at Jefferson University Hospital
Flow and Psychedelics
Correlates set and setting variables with both positive and negative psychedelic and flow experiences.
With Mendel Kaleem at Imperial College London
Faith and sports
Although a profusion of evidence has demonstrated a link between religion, spirituality,
and sports, the question of whether spiritual beliefs and/or faith correlate with actual performance in athletic activity remains open.
The Emerging Field of Flow State Neuroscience
We will discuss the flow state definition and dimensions, how the current neuroscientific literature, especially memory research, can help build theories to understand its mechanisms, and how to study it in controlled conditions in humans and animals.
Gnar Country Experiment
Gnar Country is the story of an unusual study in peak-performance aging—with only one participant. In order to figure out if these ideas work for everyone, the Flow Research Collective ran a larger study in the winter of 2022. We used principles from this book to teach seventeen adults, ages thirty to sixty-eight, how to park ski and snowboard. None of our subjects had significant park riding experience. Many were complete novices.
Our goal was not to teach our subjects how to throw tricks—though that was one major outcome. It was to teach them how to creatively interpret terrain features as a safe and sure path into flow and, by extension, performance improvement. We broke park riding into eight foundational movements: crouching, jumping, switch riding, slashing, grinding, 180, 360, and a shifty. We spent four days on the mountain, with subjects learning two new movements per day.
To see if it worked, we videotaped training sessions and assessed the results with the same criteria used to judge professional freestyle competitions. We also conducted lengthy pre-enrollment and post-study assessments and interviews, and had the subjects take two flow and learning assessments a day, for each day of the study.The results—to be blunt—were freaky. We taught a bunch of old dogs a bunch of new tricks.
All our subjects made real progress within the so-called PAVED criteria: progression, amplitude, variety, execution and difficulty. We also saw a sizable uptick in flow, which amplified performance, and produced a significant positive shift in attitudes toward later-in-life learning.
Afterward, all our participants had reevaluated what they wanted to do with the second half of their lives.
Don’t just take my word for it, check out the video and see for yourself!
Allostatic Load, Flow, and Learning in Older Adults
Our previous pilot study at the intersection of flow, aging, and cognition investigated the effects of an applied embodied cognitive approach to learning and motor skill acquisition in older adults.
Flow and Resilience in Joint Special Operations Forces
Flow is an altered state of consciousness that occurs when we are fully engaged in a relatively challenging task or activity that is matched to our skills (Kotler et al., 2022).