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The Occupational Science Group was established to provide the profession of occupational therapy with its own scientific and research base for informing clinical practice. The group supports the study of occupation and its effects on health and subjective psychological states such as wellbeing, flow and mindfulness.
Our understanding of different types of psychological states that comprise optimal experience during occupational engagement has been enhanced by Apter's Reversal Theory (2007). Additionally, findings from neuroscience indicate a possible connection between subjective psychological states and the Default Mode Network (DMN). This network refers to a set of regions in the human brain with reduced neural activity of self-reference during goal orientated tasks.
At present, there is uncertainty about the specific functions of this network (Posner, 2012) and more research is required to evidence a possible connection between the network, subjective psychological states and deep occupational engagement. Another area of research interest is the investigation of factors that enhance or impede meaningful occupation.
The overall aim of the group is to develop innovative ways for occupation-focused, manualised interventions in cilnical practice.