Synergia: A Multimodal Virtual Reality System for Creative Expression and Positive Change Through Cognitive Flow

Oana Camelia Burca, Maros Pekarik, Brian Bemman

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In recent years, virtual reality (VR) technologies for positive change have emerged as a way to combat various physical and mental issues, such as anxiety and depression, which have been linked to an increased use of digital technologies. Moreover, a state of cognitive flow in VR has been shown to have positive effects on human well-being. When designing for such VR technologies that can support positive change, feedback through aural and visual stimuli as well as interaction through movement have been suggested. However, evaluations of cognitive flow when using such technologies and with those designed for creative and artistic expression are lacking. In this paper, we present the multimodal VR system, Synergia, which encourages creative and artistic expression through bodily movement that is used to generate aural and visual feedback. In particular, participants' experiences with Synergia were evaluated using the Flow State Scale (FSS) in conjunction with semi-structured interviews. Our results indicate that Synergia shows promising potential for inducing aspects of cognitive flow related to increased concentration and an autotelic experience. Furthermore, these findings highlight the importance of multi-modalities to the flow experience but suggest also that visual-sound mappings may present a problem when designing for similar systems in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInteractivity, Game Creation, Design, Learning, and Innovation - 9th EAI International Conference, ArtsIT 2020, and 5th EAI International Conference, DLI 2020, Proceedings
EditorsAnthony Brooks, Eva Irene Brooks
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021
Event9th EAI International Conference: ArtsIT, Interactivity & Game Creation - Cyberspace
Duration: 10 Dec 202011 Dec 2020


Conference9th EAI International Conference: ArtsIT, Interactivity & Game Creation
Internet address
SeriesLecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering (LNICST)


  • Interactive Art
  • Positive Technology
  • Virtual Reality
  • Cognitive Flow
  • Movement


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