This was a long day but I decided I needed to follow through with my commitment for 2011. I’ll keep it short and sweet today. So I checked my facebook as I often do, and came across a discussion concerning a certain music video which was deemed satanic and full of “subliminal messages” from the illuminati (my opinion on the illuminati conspiracies will come later). An example:
One person had no clue what subliminal meant when I asked them. They called the repetition such as that in a chorus “subliminal”.I thought this was funny seeing that subliminal messages fall outside of conscious perception otherwise they are no longer subliminal (definition). There is little to no evidence that subliminal messaging or advertising is even effective in terms of generating long-lasting effects on behavior. Despite the lack of evidence demonstrating the overall effectiveness of subliminal messages many persist in making claims that music, advertising, and other media are using them to influence people in different ways.
Another type of subliminal messages they focus on is backmasking or reverse speech.
The claim is that when your brain processes a piece of music or message played in its usual format (forwards) it can access the message encoded backwards. There is no credible theoretical concept out there that makes plausible. However, there are those that insist on the authenticity of the messages they perceive in the music which you have to play backwards in order for them to be perceived. But with all that we know about the human brain and auditory processing there has not been evidence demonstrating that the brain can process backwards encoded messages. Also, there would not necessarily be any behavioral advantage to having that ability(not that it makes it impossible but I’m skeptic). Auditory stimuli encode a variety of information such as location (altitude and distance), pitch, etc. The brain represents these various characteristics in a particular way in the case of frequency its called tonotopic representation.
The various sensory modalities all possess a similar topology organization relevant to the stimuli they process. Given these facts it seems unlikely that a topology or process would exist whereby stimuli are processed backwards. More than likely the phenomena at work is pareidolia, the perception of “vague and random” stimuli as being significant.
Of all the methods one could use to influence a person, it shouldn’t surprise anyone who has ever had a mother or someone nag them, that repetition is the most effective. 😉
I hope my mother isn’t reading this, lol.