Subliminal Messaging : The Mystery Uncovered

Many of you must have definitely come across subliminal messages. Subliminal messages are words or images are designed so as to affect a person without he/she being aware of it. But how these messages are made is an age old mystery. But it seems there is light somewhere. A team of researchers at Boston University’s Center for Memory and Brain, led by Takeo Watanabe , who himself is a CAS associate professor of psychology has discovered the mechanism of how subliminal learning functions in the human brains.

Usually people come under the influence of subliminal learning, when words are spoken slightly below what we usually are capable of hearing. It can also happen when images are displayed at a rate faster than what are eyes can handle. Watanabe and his team uses several tests, called perception tests in their research. They asked participants to focus on a series of letters that appeared in front on their screens and recognize letters of a specific color. As the alphabets flashed a series of moving dots appeared just below the line of vision. The time that participants take to identify the direction and movement of dots was noted. This was done many times and researchers found that participants were learning subliminally since they were able to identify dots and focus on letters simultaneously and could also remember the information in between the tests.

As per Watanabe, people are able to reproduce because the visual cortex of our brain remains receptive even after people reach adulthood. Noteworthy is the fact that the visual cortex of our brain has long been thought to be active not past infancy. The tests were conducted after a gap of six months and participants showed an amazing power of retention of what they had learnt.

Further, Watanabe says that there is a possibility for other part of the brain to function in a similar way. He says, “ Pronunciation of a new language could improve if the data if presented in a subliminal way. It is possible to influence the brain without the person putting in much effort.”