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Measuring Flow Through Attentional Engagement During Game Play: Validation of a Novel Technique
Citation key nunezcastellar2016a
Author Núñez Castellar, Elena P. and Antons, Jan-Niklas and Marinazzo, Daniele and Van Looy, Jan
Title of Book Proceedings of the 66th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association
Pages 1–9
Year 2016
Location Fukuoka, Japan
Address Washington DC, USA
Month jun
Note Online
Publisher International Communication Association (ICA)
How Published Full
Abstract As such, video games are enjoyed most when the level and speed of the game match the players’ optimal mental and motor capacity (Sherry, 2004). An optimal balance between challenges and skills triggers the subjective experience of “flow”, a focused motivation leading to a feeling of spontaneous joy. Here we present the validation of a novel technique to indirectly assess the extent to which subjects experience flow during real game play by assessing attentional engagement; first behaviorally and in a second stage by means of electroencephalogram(EEG) recordings. An auditory novelty oddball paradigm, used to investigate attention in the field of cognitive neuroscience, was implemented as a secondary task while subjects played in three conditions: Boredom, Frustration and Flow. We found slower reaction times and higher error rates in the Flow condition. EEG analysis revealed a response-locked fronto-central negative deflection significantly delayed during flow, likely signaling the re-allocation of attentional resources
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