In Wetumpka, AL.

The Wayback Machine will show this site is an investigation of Subliminal Distraction begun in 2002.

If you wish to help in this project, send the Home page URL to your email list and encourage everyone to do the same.

Preventing Subliminal Distraction episodes, mistaken for mental illness, is simple and free.


Copyright 2003 Edit Saturday  October 25, 2014

Copyright     Contact page     Demonstration of subliminal sight

If  you  reached this page from a search engine enter the site here



Demonstration of Subliminal Sight and the Habituation of conscious sight in peripheral vision


I wrote this demonstration at a sixth grade level to show subliminal sight and habituation in peripheral vision.


The demonstration shows the ability to suppress the vision startle reflex.

That ability is necessary to perform the experiment to cause depression.




You may find this experiment difficult. What you are attempting to do is evaluate a non-experience.

This is the the fading to extinction of the urge to look at movement, a normal feature of everyone's physiology of sight, a reflex.

In normal day to day stream of consciousness this effect would not be noticed. At the point the urge fades to extinction, it is lost to consciousness.

No attention is given in those cases so that there is no temporary memory created.  Memory will be created as you attempt this experiment.

This is because you are focusing attention as the urge to look fades.


There are a small number of people who cannot suppress the vision startle reflex.

This demonstration tests that ability.

If you cannot successfully perform this demonstration you cannot suppress the reflex,

and cannot have Subliminal Distraction exposure. 


People who lack this ability cannot work in busy locations.

Their brain completes the vision startle reflex,

every time it is attempted.

Their concentration is broken each time movement is detected in peripheral vision,

so they must move to be able to continue working.


If this is true for you, you are immune from Subliminal Distraction.

Neither this demo or the experiment to cause depression will work for you.


Lighting is important

Humans see by reflected light. Light for this demonstration must be adequate and generally from the front directed toward you. If the light is behind you, your hand and finger will cast a shadow into your conscious sight. If the light is too far to your side your hand will come between your eye and the light. Either of these incorrect positions for lighting  will interfere with the demonstration. Adjust the lighting before you begin. Your raised hand is the object to be illuminated.


Potential Problems

Your subliminal peripheral field of view is very narrow near your eye, part of your fist may protrude into conscious sight.

You know when you create movement because you move the finger.

You can feel the finger move.

Miss-positioning will allow the moving finger to enter your conscious sight.

If all else fails have someone supply the movement for you with a simple object or tool.

Looking at a target, book, at arm’s length will cause your eye to accommodate widening the subliminal peripheral field of view. This might help.




Look at a point several feet away and maintain this eye position during the experiment. Raise your hand with the index finger extended pointing at the ceiling until it is beside your eye and about six inches away. Move the raised finger slowly back until it is no longer visible. Your palm should be parallel with your head.

Now, bend the raised finger quickly ninety degrees. You should have seen a flash of movement while the finger moved but you should not see the stationary finger in either the up or down position. Adjust the position of your hand until this is accomplished. That will define your Subliminal Peripheral Vision Field of View.



When you drew your hand back you should have experienced an urge to turn your eyes to look at the moving hand. That is the reflex to look at movement in your Peripheral Field of View. It is the first psychological event to note. As you attempt the experiment several times in succession that urge will diminish.

That is called habituation and is a second psychological event involved with this phenomenon.



When you have successfully completed this first part of the demonstration the result, is evidence you have

habituated the reflex to look at a moving object in Peripheral Vision.

This does not occur subliminally since the movement starts in conscious sight.




The second part of the demonstration is the attempt to:


'Habituate to extinction the notice taken of a moving object in subliminal peripheral vision.'


In this part of the demonstration all the movement begins in Subliminal Peripheral Vision.

At this point you have successfully positioned your finger in your Subliminal Peripheral Vision. You can see it if it moves, but can't see the finger when it is stationary.     If you moved the hand and finger go back and reposition it then proceed to the next part of the trial.

Start wiggling the finger up and down so that there is regular movement. You should see the movement and feel the urge to turn your eyes or head to look.

As you continue, in less than thirty seconds, you will no longer feel the urge to look. In fact you will no longer be aware the movement is there.



You will have successfully habituated notice of movement begun entirely in

Subliminal Peripheral Vision.


An important distinction is:

You do not stop seeing the movement - you no longer notice the movement!

Your brain is still seeing the movement subliminally.

It therefore follows that ,

your conscious mind is unaware the movement is still there.


The part of you brain which evaluates movement in Subliminal Peripheral Vision is still seeing the movement. Evaluation is automatic and instantaneous when detection occurs. If the outcome of that automatic evaluation is that the movement meets the criterion for threat movement, a reflex will happen. There is no thought process involved. Reflexes cannot be controlled. That’s what makes them reflexes. The only part of the reflex you have control of is the act of turning your head and looking.


That’s it. You have proved your Subliminal Peripheral Vision exists.



Sight is not sensory adaptable. Unlike hearing, micro-movements of your eye refresh the chemistry of sensor cells on the retina. If this were not true objects you stare at would fade from sight.

It is not possible to stop seeing anything in your field of sight. If stimulus strikes the sensor cells on rods and cones in your eye, neural impulses go to your brain over their normal channels no matter what you are doing.     Humans can ignore movement in subliminal peripheral vision by attaching a zero level of attention to detected movement so the visual startle will stop.  This happens automatically if you perceive the detected movement as harmless to you.    But that selective notice of movement does not turn off the subliminally functioning brain system.   It cannot be turned off.   It evolved to prevent early humans being a meal for predators.   If they could turn it off that would defeat its purpose.     This decrement of attention for threat movement can happen without your knowledge or it can happen as part of your normal stream of consciousness.

Far peripheral vision has only movement and position information, not color or shape. That means the triggering signal does not have color or shape information  When you no longer turn and look at the detected movement with conscious sight, your brain does not get color and shape information to identify the source of movement in peripheral vision.

That means that the subliminally detected triggering signal becomes the same for all sources. When you ignore one source of movement you ignore it all. That makes Subliminal Distraction exposure cumulative.

The normal operation of your physiology leading to a peripheral vision reflex is subliminal. This system operates separate from consciousness. Once your conscious mind loses notice of movement the connection to consciousness is gone.

‘Habituation to extinction’ makes the victim believe he has successfully ignored annoying threat movement. But as the brain function continues to operate,  remaining parts of the reflex all continue to happen. They will continue to happen as long as the position of the victim and the position of the movement remain constant.

An internal conflict in the victim's mind arises as the subliminal co-generated emotional content of the reflex continues.

The victim is unaware any thing is happening and does not know to move or escape.      The victim begins to experience vague symptoms, which increase until a psychotic episode occurs.       Each person's experience will be different. In the page, For video game players who make the "mental break causing design mistake" where they locate the game play computer, the coincidence of the co-generated emotional content being similar to the ambiance of the game, causes players to experience the subliminal effect as part of game play. Those players were unaware their experience with the game was different from other players.  The Everquest Connection (page now available on the Wayback Machine before October 2012.)   assumes you have no previous education exposure for  basic psychology.


A classical explanation of habituation

Readers who have taken basic psychology will remember that habituation is usually explained with the illustration of a sleeping puppy. If you clap your hands near a sleeping puppy it will jump up and look around trying to find the source of the noise and disturbance. Wait until it resumes its nap and clap again. The puppy will jump up again and look around. If you repeat this at intervals the reaction of the puppy will diminish until it will no longer even look up when you clap. That is habituation to extinction.


In the Penguin book Dictionary of Psychology under Attention Reflex the entry cites Piltz’s reflex as, "a change in pupil size when attention is fixed on something." It does not state how the pupil changes. If the accommodation of the eye changing the shape of the lens and the change in pupil size work together it would have the effect of increasing the size of your subliminal peripheral field of view, widening it. This would have made early hunter gathers more sensitive to movement behind them. If the pupil dilated the increase in ambient light would make the rods less sensitive so that only larger movement would cause the reflex.

The effect of that combination would be that while the field of view would increase the sensitivity to movement would decrease. This would raise the threshold of delectability for small moving objects. In part this explains why this injury is so rare. Only large movement or point sources of light would qualify as meeting the criterion for detection and evaluation as threat movement. Without the completed definition of Piltz’s reflex this evaluation cannot be completed.





If you have friends or family who use computers in unprotected workspace in homes, dorm rooms, student apartments or small business offices email them the URL of this site and have them read this section on Prevention.

It is the same day after day long hours of play or computer use with detectable movement in ‘Subliminal Peripheral Vision,’ which would form the basis of a risk for SPVP injury.

Exposure can be cumulative 

The brain’s detection system only evaluates movement. There is little recognition of the nature of the object in peripheral vision. If you have several hours exposure from human traffic at the library, while reading at an open table or seated in a reading room chair, followed by long hours watching TV with a critically misplaced ceiling fan sweeping detectable shadows around the room, the combination of those two behaviors might cause the problem. The suggestion is that either activity alone would not consume enough exposure time even if the critical movement is present.



Copyright 2003

This URL home page is Please include it if you print out portions of text or the whole page for off line reading. Please read the copyright page on this site. Do not duplicate the one copy allowed each reader. We want everyone, even non-computer users, to have the information but do not want old versions of revised material in circulation.


Tell everyone you know and send them to the site.