Skip to main content

Public Health and Sport Sciences

Examining the attentional mechanisms responsible for flow experiences

Project lead: Dr David Harris

Flow is an experience of intense focus on the task at hand. As flow is linked to enjoyment, motivation and enhanced performance, studying the factors that produce flow may allow a better understanding of optimal human performance in sport, work or education. 

Screenshot from a VR driving simulator

Dr David Harris’ PhD thesis aimed to examine the attentional mechanisms responsible for the experience of flow. By adopting objective psychophysiological techniques, like heart rate monitoring and head-mounted eye-tracking, in sporting and computer gaming tasks we were able to study changes in attention during flow.