Subliminals are a much-loved facet of the mc fetish and often a topic of scientific debate. When most people hear the word “Subliminal”, they think of the famous “Eat Popcorn/Drink Coke” experiment (a topic of much debate itself) or perhaps Tyler Durden’s “enhancement” of family cinema in Fight Club. While some question the ability of subliminal messages to influence behavior, the practice of utilizing submliminals in advertising is banned in the United Kingdom (though still permitted in the U.S.). Obviously, somebody across the pond thinks subliminals work, or are perhaps just erring on the side of caution. In any event, a new study released by University College London claims that they have found “the first physiological evidence that invisible subliminal images do attract the brain’s attention on a subconscious level.” The study’s findings indicate that the brain does, in fact, recognize and process images that the conscious mind isn’t “aware of and can’t ever become aware of.”
However this study does not address whether or not those same images or messages will have any affect on behavior. Dr Bahador Bahrami, of the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and the UCL Department of Psychology, said: “I believe that it’s likely that subliminal advertising may affect our decisions – but that is just speculation at this point.” The study suggests that the brain is only able to process these subliminal images if its full attention is not already focused elsewhere. In a situation where research subjects were engaged in an activity which required greater concentration, the brain ignored the subliminal information being displayed.
Beyond my fetish-related interest in these types of stories (they can be great inspiration to start a new manip project), I find myself genuinely fascinated by the study of the human mind. To understand one’s own nature is a fundamental goal that we all spend a significant amount of our lives pursuing. I, for one, am intrigued by any advancement of knowledge where our own self-understanding is concerned.