‘Subliminal’ Monday

February 23, 2015

Heat_wave_by_danpurcellClear sunrise and cold air this early Monday on California’s north coast, we’re just a few degrees above freezing, and the morning feels it.
Forecast is for rain by Thursday, or earlier, and wet on-and-off for the following few days — whether or not depends on the weather.

In that insane vein, we do a load of life’s shit without thinking, like flexing fingers, or maybe opening a car door, we really don’t mentally click-off how/when to do such tasks — and just how smart is that, ‘subliminal influence,’ or so-called, subconscious?
According to a new study, pretty-brainy. From the BBC last week: ‘The result suggests that the unconscious mind has more sophisticated capacities than many have thought…The report calls the technique used “a game changer in the study of the unconscious,” arguing that “unconscious processes can perform every fundamental, basic-level function that conscious processes can perform.”

(Illustration: ‘Rain Forest,’ by Dan Purcell, found here).

The research paper is titled, ‘Is the unconscious smart or dumb?‘ Answer — smarter than we can figure:

The amazing result is that participants were significantly quicker to read the target number if it was the right answer rather than a wrong one.
This shows that the equation had been processed and solved by their minds — even though they had no conscious awareness of it — meaning they were primed to read the right answer quicker than the wrong one.

Deep the dark of the subconscious. And in another study, the old methods are quicker for the mind — from the Guardian this morning:

It’s not only words and letters that we process as objects.
Texts themselves, so far as our brains are concerned, are physical landscapes.
So it shouldn’t be surprising that we respond differently to words printed on a page compared to words appearing on a screen; or that the key to understanding these differences lies in the geography of words in the world.
For her new book, ‘Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World,’ linguistics professor Naomi Baron conducted a survey of reading preferences among over 300 university students across the US, Japan, Slovakia and Germany.
When given a choice between media ranging from printouts to smartphones, laptops, e-readers and desktops, 92 percent of respondents replied that it was hard copy that best allowed them to concentrate.

Across three experiments in 2013, researchers Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer compared the effectiveness of students taking longhand notes versus typing onto laptops.
Their conclusion: the relative slowness of writing by hand demands heavier “mental lifting”, forcing students to summarise rather than to quote verbatim – in turn tending to increase conceptual understanding, application and retention.
In other words, friction is good – at least so far as the remembering brain is concerned.
Moreover, the textured variety of physical writing can itself be significant.
In a 2012 study at Indiana University, psychologist Karin James tested five-year-old children who did not yet know how to read or write by asking them to reproduce a letter or shape in one of three ways: typed onto a computer, drawn onto a blank sheet, or traced over a dotted outline.
When the children were drawing freehand, an MRI scan during the test showed activation across areas of the brain associated in adults with reading and writing.
The other two methods showed no such activation.

Hard copy on a hard skull is subconsciously obtuse…especially on a Monday.
Especially, too, since retirement, I love Mondays, hence the subliminal mind wouldn’t understand, as now reality is just beyond the threshold of sensation.

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