Accessing the States of Enhanced Cognition in a Gaming Context - the Importance of Arousal

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Our research article on the existence of enhanced cognitive states, resonating with the states of flow, introduced previously by Csikszentmihalyi, have been published in Cognitive Sciences. our new data on this topic will be presented at I/ITSEC-2022 meeting in Orlando (FL).

Our results provide scientific evidence for the existence of enhanced cognitive states - states characterized by dramatic temporary improvements in visual selective (focused) attention, as measured by an attentional blink task. Overall, the findings suggest that enhanced cognitive states are a universal phenomenon, which demands focusing one’s attention on a single task from the egocentric perspective, and ought to involve an adventurous “adrenaline-rush” type of activity.

Furthermore, an underlying physiological mechanism of these states is parasympathetic nervous system withdrawal associated arousal. Specifically, the gaming dimensions leading to greater arousal result in greater improvements on the attentional blink task during enhanced cognitive states. These findings suggest that individuals can transcend what was hitherto assumed to be a limitation of human cognition, granting new prospects for eliciting exceptional human performance.