The excited state intramolecular charge transfer process in donor-chromophore-acceptor system 5-(4-dimethylamino-phenyl)-penta-2,4- dienenitrile (DMAPPDN) has been investigated by steady state absorption and emission spectroscopy in combination with Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations. This flexible donor acceptor molecule DMAPPDN shows dual fluorescence corresponding to emission from locally excited and charge transfer state in polar solvent. Large solvatochromic emission shift, effect of variation of pH and HOMO-LUMO molecular orbital pictures support excited state intramolecular charge transfer process. The experimental findings have been correlated with the calculated structure and potential energy surfaces based on the Twisted Intramolecular Charge Transfer (TICT) model obtained at DFT level using B3LYP functional and 6-31+G(d,p) basis set. The theoretical potential energy surfaces for the excited states have been generated in vacuo and acetonitrile solvent using Time Dependent Density Functional Theory (TDDFT) and Time Dependent Density Functional Theory Polarized Continuum Model (TDDFT-PCM) method, respectively. All the theoretical results show well agreement with the experimental observations. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.