Truth About Subliminal Programs
Choices and Illusions
The Mirror Information Processing (MIP) Hypothesis: The Taylor Method
by Eldon Taylor
Many researchers support differing theories of subliminal perception. Many companies apply various technologies used to create subliminals. This chapter explains the theoretical basis for the "Taylor Method." This technology departs from conventional wisdom in its information processing theory.
Perhaps you have tired of looking for strict definitions and rigorous theories amid endless contradictions. Perhaps you seek credible evidence for efficacy from independent researchers. This chapter deals with the technology trademarked as Whole Brain® .
The bulk of my work with subliminal stimuli uses this technology. In this chapter you will have some opportunity to judge it and me.
The "Taylor Method"
Some have termed my methodology "un-subliminal" (Moore, 1990). Others have used it to support subliminal theory (Urban, 1992). They have their definitions. You have my definitions.
I suggest pragmatism. Does it work? Maybe yes. Then we might want to decide what to call it. Maybe not. Then we can just call it wrong.
This method delivers forward and reverse speech simultaneously, distinguished by channel differentiation, and delivered at a level of sound within the band width of liminal sound information. The delivery of information is out of phase. (Both speakers are not "pushing" together but may be "pushing" and "pulling." Full technical details are available in U.S. patent number 07/440,244). This method allows the easy detection of the subliminal on home stereo equipment. The same information goes unreported by the listener when normally played. Many independent researchers have demonstrated this method effective in a variety of settings (Roche, 1993; Plante, 1993; Ashley, 1993; Isaacs, 1991; Pelka, 1991; Kruse, 1991; Galbraith & Barton, 1990 and Reid, 1990) To this I can add my own studies, double-blind and clinical (Taylor, 1987, 1989, 1990 and 1991).
The method evolved from work in my lab that began in 1982. Many of the concepts derive from studies of brain laterality and hemispheric function, viewed through the holographic models of Pribram (1982). I published my first description of the method, and then patented it in 1987. Professor Peter Kruse, of Bremen University, dubbed it the "Taylor Method."
An unpublished working paper proposed Mirror Image Processing (MIP) as an working model (Taylor, 1991). Research has shown that the brain can process information presented in reverse (Smith and Danielsson, 1979). The original theory behind the "Taylor Method" viewed the perception of information reversed in any way as analogous to uprighting visual information presented upside down.
That still seems a fair analogy. The alignment of auditory and visual stimuli originating from a given object in space activates neurons at a single tectal sight (Knudsen, E.I & Brainard, M.S., 1991). Further, researchers have presented monkeys with images in binocular rivalry studies. Sometimes this demonstrates an increased neural response to the suppressed image. No circumstances revealed a suppression of neuro responses to suppressed image (Ramachandran, 1991). The application of these ideas has proven effective. We can always make our work more effective. F.H.C. Crick and C. Koch suggest that a "basis of conscious visual awareness is the synchronization of 40 hertz oscillations." What might the orientation, magnitude, and frequency of electromagnetic oscillations have to do with awareness? How could we apply that?
What follows is the history behind the development of the "Taylor Method," and a complete discussion of the theoretical and mechanical nature of the method.
My study of information processing actually began with sales. My first look into the mechanics of brains came with required courses in college. My personal interest began when my oldest daughter, Angela, entered school.
Angela had some difficulties. Her first grade teacher called her dyslexic. Her dyslexia seemed mild and something she might outgrow. We worked with her to help her overcome it.
She copied letters and integers from a written example. She often produced various mirror images of these symbols. That struck me as something that I could only do with difficulty. The "S"s especially intrigued me since they were perfect.
As I worked with Angela it became apparent that both her choice of hand and eye altered, if only slightly, the nature of reversed characters in her writing. Closing an eye, or changing hands, resulted in different writing, different kinds of mistakes.
In time she "outgrew" dyslexia. I basically lost interest with the issue. I kept some of my notes. I went on with other matters in my life.
In 1981 I attended a hypnosis course in Chicago led by Harry Arons. Harry emphatically maintained that the brain processed information, in part, by a sort of tumbling. He maintained that this must actually take place in some part of the brain. He compared this to a dice tumbler. He described the tumbling as part of a process he called subconscious cerebration. Hence, words, even letters of words, became mixed, reversed and jumbled. This would normally occur entirely unconsciously.
Words could, as a result of the tumbling process, recombine into other sentences. That could alter the meaning of the sentence entirely. Sentences required careful construction to avoid unwanted transformations. The notion had particular interest to me.
He used the example of an affirmation. An affirmation for reducing cigarette smoking could go something like this, "I find 10 cigarettes a day more than enough for me." Arons suggested that this seemingly helpful phrase could recombine to state, "I find more than 10 cigarettes enough for me."
This idea seemed odd. I had no reason to disbelieve the man. Nevertheless, how and why the brain functioned in this process puzzled me. I began listing related correspondences between accepted theories and anomalies of the models of information processing and the observed world.
By 1984 I had become convinced that the hemispheres of the brain functionally mirrored each other in many unexplored aspects. These certainly included learning processes relative to the development of logic and reason (especially affective orientations), and language and mathematical propositions (especially three dimensional math models).
In 1985 I encountered the book Holographic Paradigm and Other Paradoxes. The work of Carl Pribram and David Bohm attracted me. The physics of the world appeared to match the mechanics of the brain and even metaphysics. Suddenly, to me at least, the model of hemispheric mirroring came into focus. The mathematics of the holograph developed long before an actual holograph existed. Within me grew a certainty and intuitive clarity that I didn't have a clue how to demonstrate objectively. In 1987, with reckless abandon, I put the idea of holographic information processing in Subliminal Learning: An Eclectic Approach.
The Holographic Brain
As stated earlier, many of the theoretical underpinnings for the "Taylor Method" derive from hemispheric laterality and function studies viewed through the holographic models of Pribram (1982). For those unfamiliar with holography, the following outline may help. When a hologram is made, as with the split beam process illustrated in Fig. 2, information about an object (stimulus) is stored everywhere on the plate (brain).
This resembles looking through a window. "If the hologram is broken, a tiny piece will still contain a perspective of the whole.... Rodieck demonstrates "that the mathematical equations describing the holographic process match exactly what the brain does with information"....holograms do not necessarily need to be
formed with visible light as do our holographic plates (for example, acoustical holograms or even ripples on the surface of a pond).... They may be formed in the presence of any wave action. And, it is not the presence of physical waves as such that is needed for making a hologram, but rather an interference pattern, a ratio of harmonic relationships" (Unterseher, Hansen and Schlesinger, 1982).
You can demonstrate a three dimensional real image obtained by spheric section mirrors. This may assist you in visualizing the process. However, be aware that different phenomena produce holographs.
Take a sphere, like a tennis ball or a basket ball. Cut it in half. Cut a 2 or 3-inch hole in the middle of one half. Line the insides of both with mirror paper. Put the halves back together (see Fig. 3). Place an object, say a quarter, on the bottom at mid point beneath the hole. A holograph of the quarter will appear, presenting the image of the quarter as if it were situated somehow on top of the hole. The stimulus--the quarter--is mirrored in such a fashion as to create a three-dimensional image with the appearance of a real object. Obviously, in the holographic model proposed for the brain, the actual stimulus from the brain can come from within or without. Reality transcends the limitations of any model.
In metaphor, we can demonstrate a holograph by dropping two stones into a pond and watching their concentric patterns meet and overlap. In theory, perceptual stimuli to the brain present a disturbance that resonates in overlapping oscillations of different cells of the brain relative to the origin of the disturbance (see Fig. 4).
Anatomical brain functions display analogies to holography. Frequency modulations result when stimuli trigger a mirrored firing and a new unit of information begins to modulate in competition with others for attention. Crick and Koch (1990) have demonstrated that the principle wave modulation across the cortex is a 40 hertz oscillation with a 600 to 700 milli-second duration. They suggest that information enters conscious awareness only when the frequency signal of the stimulus successfully modulates over a significant mass of the cortex, gaining signal strength through resonation. This insight provides an objective measure of the holographic process in the brain.
A piece of a holographic photo still presents an image of the whole. Similarly, every part, every cell, apparently stores a representation of the "whole" of any stimuli.
I reasoned that event centers determined the strength of the impression or memory on the cell (that is, wide perspective "wholes" vs. narrow perspective "wholes"). I took the differing task orientations and the maturation of relative tasks apparent in hemispheric functions. I reasoned that the hemispheres might mirror aspects of differentiation as if from opposite ends of the concentric event in relation to the locus of the stimulus. A left-hemisphere event would have stimulus strength greater in that hemisphere than in the right, and vice-versa.
How could this give rise to consistent mirrored events in language processing? The question invited wild conjecture. A linear examination might conclude that, even given the validity as a model of understanding for this analogy, one could argue that from a perspective of sight the view would simply be of different edges. The fallacy in this trend of reasoning is that holographs do not possess linear edges per se. That would be like trying to select the edge of a three-dimensional shape, such as a sphere, as though it were the edge or the end of a straight line (see Fig. 5).
The holographic, three-dimensional information unit undulates across the hemispheres. We find analagous phenomena by examining a sub-event in our pond-and-stone example. The two directionally opposing waves meet as illustrated in Fig. 6.
From the surface this may appear as a surface event. Examination with depth perspective reveals a three-dimensional event. This event creates unique characteristics at each sub-event locus, each representing the "whole" of the event.
Here is the holographic model of Mirrored Information Processing (MIP). Fragments of the stimulus distribute across the cortex via impressions formed from modulating frequencies. In much the same manner, Fig. 6 illustrates two stones dropped in a pond. Consequently, redundant memory is stored. In theory, an interference frequency would cancel perception. Alternately, a failure to resonate a frequency could occur--this disturbs distribution of the modulating pattern. This would eliminate stimulus information in whole or in part to areas of the cortex. This situation is analogous to a third stone entering the pond, adding to the pattern, or to the interruption of pattern distribution that would occur from an outcropping of rock near the event.
Pribram has proposed that the brain stores memory holographically through resonated modulating frequencies. The holographic model of the physical universe proposed by Bohm (1982) has a similar structure. The holographic MIP model could explain anomalies in memory storage as well as failure to retrieve or access memory. This seems obvious in cases of over-stimulation, such as those demonstrated in the classic Skinner "maze bright rat" experiments. The interface of parallel processing models observed from Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan analysis, which I discussed as "holonomic" information processing also applies here (Taylor, 1988). PET scan analysis appears to accurately trace the epicenter(s) of stimuli events. From these epicenters, which correspond with and form a part of the hemispheric asymmetry observations, stimulus information spreads out via frequency modulation.
For purposes of clarity, Fig. 7 represents the holographic information hypothesis put forward by myself (Taylor, 1988). The brain, in this model, becomes the hologram. The mind functions as the holographic image. Individual neurons operate as grains of silver in a holographic plate. This concept parallels the model offered by Unterseher, Hansen and Schlesinger (1982), reproduced here as Fig. 8.
The MIP model itself also derives from work in hemispheric asymmetry, as mentioned before. Early work with split-brain patients demonstrated marked differences in cerebral cortical hemispheric functions relative to dominant (D) and non-dominant (ND) hemispheres (Sperry, 1969).
By the early 1980's, the literature proliferated with task-relative functions differentiated by D and ND delineations. The lists generally label D as the left hemisphere and ND as the right hemisphere for typical right-handers. They attributed a host of tasks to primary hemispheric functions. Table 1 depicts these. Typically the tasks divided as linear\reductive versus gestalt\holistic processes.
The brain hemispheres show a distinct anatomical separation. They demonstrate equally marked functional separation, as Zaidel concluded (Zaidel, 1985). The dichotomies indicated above display that.
Zaidel portrays the speech and language functions of the two hemispheres with D as adult brain and ND as a 3- to 6-year-old child's brain (1985). Blumstein and Cooper (1974) demonstrated that the ND side's activity increased when intonation was increased in human speech. Ross asserts that the posterior ND hemisphere operates the comprehension of intonation and the anterior ND hemisphere controls the production of speech (Ross, 1981).
One of the pioneers of hemispheric functional specificity is Robert Ornstein. He studied hemispheric asymmetry and its relationship to consciousness. He believes that
BRAIN HEMISPHERE ASYMMETRIC FUNCTIONS NORMALLY DISTINGUISHED
the highest functions of the human condition develop only with the development of both hemispheres. He suggested that western society placed so much emphasis on the D hemisphere that its ability to grasp "wholes" had given way to fragmentation. We lost the forest for the leaves, and gave up the whole world in favor of reductionistic examination/evaluation of the parts. Ornstein originally identified this dichotomy as comparable to the differences between thinking styles of the east and the west (Ornstein, 1970).
Studies in the area of subliminal information processing have repeatedly demonstrated the process of obtaining information "out of" conscious awareness (Dixon, 1981; Taylor, 1988, 1990). Many of these studies have demonstrated that the ND hemisphere functionally processes such information (Cuperfain & Clark, 1985). Complementarily, McFarland, McFarland, Bain and Ashton (1978) revealed a right ear advantage for words of an abstract nature, but no such advantage for words of a more concrete nature.
A discovery reported by Ferguson (1991) demonstrated that auditory laterality played a role in childhood dyslexia. Ferguson reported from the work of Kjeld Johansen that "reading-disabled youngsters showed much weaker than normal bias toward the right ear, which is connected to the verbally dominant left hemisphere."
This information is not new. Still, Johansen uses it to confirm earlier work. He suggests that concentrated follow-up in this area of understanding is long overdue (Fergusson, 1991). Dyslexia was one of the first areas studied through dichotic (one or the other) listening procedures (Springer and Deutsch, 1981). Dyslexia was also a candidate for subliminal presentations that were lateralized through tachistoscopic-technology. Although this work remains controversial, it still led Springer and Deutsch to conclude that some peculiarity of hemispheric asymmetry did play a role in dyslexia (Springer and Deutsch, 1981).
Springer and Deutsch also reviewed the data regarding anatomical asymmetries in dyslexics. They found a positive correlation between handedness, hemispheric asymmetries and dyslexias. They cautioned against over-generalization and suggested, "the reversal (of brain-asymmetry) interacts with other factors to produce dyslexia" (Springer and Deutsch, 1981).
Samuel T. Orton suggested a model of reading disability (dyslexia) as a "failure of dominance" by the D hemisphere (Springer and Deutsch, 1981). Orton assumed that weak cerebral dominance caused dyslexia. His original model did not hold up under scientific scrutiny in its generalization about the cause of all dyslexias. It nevertheless offers a functional mechanical model that has not yet proven wrong. Some of Orton's assumptions may have strayed. The viability of the model itself remains This important distinction becomes even more important in the context of the MIP paradigm.
Orton studied hemispheric asymmetry largely in the areas of dyslexia and stuttering. He thought that hemispheric competition for control of speech caused this dysfunction. His model of information processing and hemispheric asymmetry assumed that we represent visual information in "opposite orientations in the two hemispheres" (Springer and Deutsch, 1981). Orton proposed the upside-down to right-side- up visual correction as mechanically a mirroring process (see Fig. 9).
Consequently, a more accurate pictorial representation of the MIP holographic model is shown in Fig. 10.
Orton coined the term "strepbosymbolia" to describe the condition proposed when the mirroring process seemed incomplete or absent due to a "sufficiently developed cerebral dominance . . . one normally oriented and one reversed" (Springer and Deutsch, 1981).
Springer and Deutsch reviewed Orton's work and concluded that he "may be right, but for the wrong
reasons" (Springer and Deutsch, 1981). I suggest that Orton's model functionally represents the mechanical process and also best describes the "righting" of the world seen upside down and the intake/output of reversed speech. Orton's model may only appear to have failed. Perturbations of frequency modulations across hemispheres may indeed result in observable increases in D hemisphere activity because of neurological factors analogous to those implied by the "rock outcropping" from the pond-and-stone metaphor.
In addition to the literature reviewed regarding dyslexia and stuttering, many regard autism as, at least in part, due to an asymmetrical hemispheric dysfunction (Springer and Deutsch, 1981). Apparently no one has proposed how this would receive perceptual representation in the mind of the autistic child.
A number of studies have shown that emotionality in semantic delivery can have an influence over both the recognition level and the physiological response relative to the presentation of linguistic subliminal stimuli (Taylor, 1988). This produced hemispherically asymmetric responses. My work, reported in 1988, all used reverse speech presentations.
Neurophysiologist David Corina and his team conducted several studies of hemisphere function at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Based on them, he asserts, the left hemisphere "handles specific characteristics of language, rather than muscle movements or symbolic abilities involved in language" (Corina, 1992). PET scans taken by Squire and Raichle suggest that we have different kinds of memory, and that separate neural regions manage them. "When subjects drew upon memories of a list to complete the fragment "mot-" as "motor" the right sides of their hippocampi flooded with blood...If the subjects were not searching their brains for a word they had already seen and instead gave the first word that came to them, blood flow did not increase significantly to either side of their hippocampi" (Squire and Raichle, 1991). According to Richard Haier the right side of the hippocampus plays a key role in memory and learning (Haier, 1992).
Many researchers agree that the right hemisphere controls speech formation and delivery, while the left side determines the structure of speech. Both hemispheres nevertheless intricately participate in speech memory and learning in different primary ways.
As mentioned earlier, Kjeld Johansen has demonstrated that auditory laterality is a key factor in childhood dyslexia. The MIP model predicts this. Johansen found "that reading-disabled youngsters showed much weaker than normal bias toward the right ear, which is connected to the verbally dominant hemisphere...." (Ferguson, 1991) Due to the way the auditory system is "wired," hearing parts of words with the left ear but other parts with the right (as opposed to right-ear dominance) can lead to sounds being mixed and confused. Certain letters - b and p, t and d - often become garbled (Springer and Deutsch, 1981). It may be that the information garbling is more a matter of information mirroring than simply of sounds being mixed and confused.
Three theoretical considerations traditionally apply to information processing in the context of hemispheric asymmetry and mental dysfunctions. Springer and Deutsch outline these:
The MIP model emphasizes alternative three as a functional characteristic relative to the operation of information transfer between hemispheres according to the mirroring process where dyslexia or, at least, certain forms of dyslexia are concerned. This hypothesis was supported when the simultaneous delivery of forward and reverse speech was applied, hemispherically differentiated, to a young man diagnosed as dyslexic. Within 30 days his dyslexia symptoms had disappeared (Taylor, 1990).
What may we surmise? Many implicit percepts seem to come from perceptions out of awareness. Hemispheric asymmetry seems inherent to the preconscious processing paradigm. Hemispheric competition may cause failure to perceive or behave either "correctly" or at all.
Budzynski schematized asymmetric lateralization in conflicts between the two hemispheres (Budzynski, 1986). This would exacerbate recognition difficulties in much the same manner that perceptual defenses operate. That, in turn, could lead to situations in which the two hemispheres conflict. That could produce "inter-manual and intrapsychic" difficulties (Joseph, 1988).
One split-brain study reviewed by Springer and Deutsch applies to this perspective. Gazzaniga and LeDoux conducted experiments in which they presented visual stimuli in separate visual fields to a split-brain subject. They asked the subject to use his fingers to point to pictures that related to the subject matter he had seen flashed on the screen (see Fig. 11, reproduced here courtesy of Springer and Deutsch, 1981). Gazzaniga and Ledoux reported that the subject "did this quite well." His right hand pointed to a picture related to one that had been flashed in his right visual field (to the left hemisphere), and his left hand pointed to a picture related to one that had been flashed in his left visual field (to the right hemisphere). Consider how the subject interpreted these double responses:
"When a snow scene was presented to the right hemisphere and a chicken claw was presented to the left, he quickly and dutifully responded correctly by choosing a picture of a chicken from a series of four cards with his right hand and a picture of a shovel from a series of four cards with his left hand. The subject was then asked, "What did you see?" "I saw a claw and I picked the chicken, and you have to clean out the chicken shed with a shovel."
In trial after trial, we saw this kind of response. The left hemisphere could easily and accurately identify why it had picked the answer, and then subsequently, and without batting an eye, it would incorporate the right hemisphere's response into the framework. While we knew exactly why the right hemisphere had made its choice, the left hemisphere could merely guess. Yet, the left did not offer its suggestion in a guessing vein but rather a statement of fact as to why that card had been picked." (Springer and Deutsch, 1981).
The ND (right) hemisphere represents logical language in an infantile or primitive fashion (Eccles, 1974), affect oriented and spatially non-linear (Galin, 1974) It appears to play a significant role in the early processing of new information (Wittrock, 1985). It must play an even more important role in the generation of new information. Creativity stems from recombination. This receives interpretation by and stability from the D (left) hemisphere.
The model proposed will accommodate the MIP paradigm. The brain evolved. It grew larger. The hemispheres developed and specialized.
The ND (right) hemisphere evolved a function that listened to language and saw the world in much the same manner: topsy turvy, tipsy tottery, back to front, last to first. This raises an interesting question. You may have read that when an individual wears glasses which turn the view upside down, the brain learns the difference and adjusts its interpretation so that the individual again sees "right-side up." What would happen with speech presented in reverse? What if this mirroring process was the mechanic of Chompsky's echolalia to holophrastic speech schema? Do we have a mechanical apparatus in the brain designed specifically to mirror language? (Petitto and Marentette, 1991).
The development of language requires stable and consistent utterances. Some part of the brain had to maintain stable representations. One sees oneself in a mirror. One does not pay particular heed to the right and left. Regardless, we know the mirror reverses them. We have a fixed representation of our body. Apparently the D hemisphere has this responsibility. D hemisphere developes lexical ability.
The studies by David Oates almost require this theory. However, Oates's work has drawn serious criticism. Oates insists that all speech contains meaningful reversals. Apparently the subconscious can communicate in this way. Meticulously, over a six-year period, he assembled recordings and reversed them for backward speech analysis. Repeatedly he observed meaningful reversals. Usually they compliment or contradict the content of the forward speech. A statement such as "I left work and went to the grocery store" might contain a complimentary message such as "loaf of bread." Such reversals add information relevant to the forward message. A contradictory message might say, "Hate it" in a forward message stating, "It's really okay." (Oates, 1991).
I have also come across this phenomenon. In 1984, I examined recordings from a lie detection test. That involved manually reversing audiotape across the play heads of a reel to reel recorder in an attempt to isolate a specific response. As I dragged the tape in reverse, I heard the word "liar." This word was spoken clearly. Later, others easily demonstrated it to themselves. In forward response, the examinee said simply, "Yes." In reverse, this "yes" contained "liar." The charts also clearly demonstrated distress indicative of deception. The examinee later verified deception by confessing. If Oates was correct, this incident was not a fluke.
Oates also reported that, in addition to the forensic applications of the reversal phenomena, therapists had been successful at finding underpinning traumas from recordings of patients. One example offered was a woman who went to her therapist for reasons substantially different in their etiology than the sexual abuse discovered in her speech reversals (Oates, 1991).
Of greatest significance for this paper, Oates played tapes backwards at about a 20% speed reduction, the sounds made by a child during the stage between gurgling and meaningful speech, contained reversals such as "Daddy play?" "Mamma home?" and so forth (Oates, 1991).
Apparently, in first learning to speak, we generate reversed speech. We create this reversal, most of us, in the right hemisphere. As mentioned earlier, clinical data assembled by myself, supported this hypothesis (Taylor, 1991).
I spent years doing voice stress analysis, specifically looking at the presence of a muscle micro tremor that exists at about 8 cycles per second. It persists so long as the autonomic nervous system functions relatively stress free. When distress occurs, this micro-tremor disappears. Many times the "give-away voice crack" happens at times of distress. The left hemisphere attends to the rules of sentence structure, tense, word choice, logic... Does the right hemisphere form the affect structure of speech?
Just as speech suggests an interplay of hemispheres, graphologic reversals require some such explanation (Kappas, 1985). Hypnotic and parapsychological literature has often reported backwards writing. Holding this writing to a mirror provides clear interpretation. Left hemisphere activity declines during trance. This seems another example of brain reversal. Is the critical mind (left hemisphere) in abeyance? During religious worship of a cathartic type, many have spoken in "tongues." How much of this actually connects with speech reversals, as suggested by Oates? (1991).
The implications to speech reversals occurring without knowledge (at least consciously) are as staggering as the list of corresponding observations are long. Prior to hearing of Oates' findings, I viewed reverse speech information from an intake only perspective. Did the brain make intelligibly meaningful translations of reverse speech? Some articles argued "absolutely not!" (Moore, 1990). The studies tested conscious evaluations of the reverse information. They could have tested presentation of reverse speech via an instrument, such as thematic apperception testing designed to detect unconscious "tumbling" and response (right hemisphere). Instead they chose to evaluate consciously recognized meaning (left hemisphere) immediately following the reverse speech presentation. Given the MIP model, this type of design had little if any value and the conclusions derived from it invalid.
The MIP Model: A Simple Test
The MIP hypothesis suggests that hemispheric tasking would result in interferences of images and information, as discovered by Stroop between 1932 and 1938 (Science News, vol. 141, 1992). The Stroop effect demonstrates organizational functions of the brain that have largely gone unexplained. Current theory divides between the approach which asserts that people read words quicker then they identify color, and the alternative theory which states that certain mental tasks happen involuntarily, while others require considerably more voluntary effort and control. The Stroop effect occurs with simultaneous exposure to lists of words or other stimuli organized so as to require variations in response when presented one at a time. For example, look at Fig 4 in the colored templates. Name the colors of each of the words on the list as rapidly as possible.
We can present words fused with images which oppose the meanings of the words. This slows down the identification process. It is as though thinking itself has been slowed. Colors provide the most dramatic instance of this well known and intriguing phenomena.
Review the same list. This time read the words rather than naming the color. The task becomes easier. If not, I will guess that you did not learn to read English until late in your life, or that you have some dyslexic tendency.
Cover your left eye and read. The typical left-hemispheric dominant person covers the left eye and reads the list with no meaningful change in the speed of reading. The same person may then cover the right eye and attempt to read the words. This usually severely impedes the process. I have observed the inability to report the words without the colors. Even when carefully instructed to do so, some participants cannot say the word red without saying the color first (blue, as shown in the preceding list). One subject who experienced this effect said that, in spite of practice, she found it "almost impossible not to say the color first even though I know that what I'm saying is an error."
In my opinion, the very process of mirroring produces this organizational confusion. The right hemisphere typically dominant orientation to color, space, shape and so forth from birth (Wonder and Donovan, 1984) competes with left hemisphere linguistic tasking. By contrast, the left hemisphere has logical syntactic language, again as a primary task for the typical right-handed person. When opposing hemispheric tasks are presented simultaneously, the mirroring process of information from hemisphere to hemisphere produces sufficient disorganization as to "slow" the thinking process. The opposing image difficulty is either exacerbated or ameliorated depending upon the identification requirement (language or color in our example) and the dominant hemisphere processing that information.
The procedural difference viewing the Stroop effect with only one eye rather than two usually provesless significant with the right eye than with the left, according to the findings of this author. One explanation for that difference could well be the dominance of the right eye, for most people in our society. The eyes, unlike the ears or hands or nostrils and so forth, each cross-wire to both hemispheres. For the sake of efficiency, the brain may learn more practiced compensation skills for the dominant eye than for the non-dominant. Ornstein has pointed out that, in the maturation process, the fibers from the two eyes compete and usually the right eye win. In his words, "throughout infancy, the fibers from the two eyes construct from complete overlaps to complete separation in the adult" (Orstein, 1984).
I reasoned, if forward and reverse speech are presented simultaneously, they will in effect compete as do color and word. Each hemisphere will, so to speak, be busy processing what it recognizes. This competition will impede recognition by slowing down the recognition process. Consequently, the liminus level of subliminal information (threshold) would alter and speech would go unrecognized at sound levels where it would otherwise be detected.
How The "Taylor Method" Works
Now we have at least a theoretical understanding of my approach. Let us review the essentials. What happens in an average human brain?
The brain receives sensory stimuli. The D hemisphere generates a stable representation. The ND hemisphere generates counter-representations. These may match with previously established representations (beliefs). By resonance, in the holograph metaphor, a counter-representation could 'trigger' matching representations in the whole brain. The combination of counter-representation and established representation could overwhelm the current D representation.
Affirmations allow a simple example of how this works in our minds. When I say "I forgive..." I already remember people who I haven't forgiven yet. Affirmations seem to work well to establish beliefs that we haven't disbelieved yet. Alternately, an affirmation also helps to reveal beliefs that block us. Once revealed, we can use effective means of working on those.
In the case of reverse speech, the D hemisphere attaches no meaning to it. The ND hemisphere, as always, generates counter-representations. One of the simplest of these, reversal in time, does have meaning. This counter-representation does not have sufficient signal strength to enter consciousness, or to stimulate counter-counter-representation. Hence, repetition can establish a representation (belief) without disturbing consciousness or generating contradictory representations.
The "Taylor Method" applies simultaneous information of both forward and reverse speech. It delivers on the left channel (to the right hemisphere) an authoritarian statement such as "I am good," while delivering on the right channel a permissive corollary statement such as "It's okay to be good." I recommend this simultaneous delivery for at least two reasons, 1. Both halves of the brain are addressed in the manner most appropriate, ie. permissive or authoritarian, the left brain being the center for logic and reason while the right brain is the creative/artistic center. (Wonder and Donovan, 1985). 2. Just as thinking is slowed down when both halves of the brain are being tasked, as seen in the Stroop effect, so the subject is less likely to note hearing speech, even though the messages are easily detectable on home stereo equipment.
The tape delivers these messages within the band width of the music and nature soundtrack, slightly beneath the peak volume of the outer edge. On a good stereo you can reveal the subliminals. Simply pan the speaker balance on to full right, eliminate the equalizer bands on everything but 500k and 1k, and increase to maximum those two frequency ranges. You can easily detect the voices speaking the messages.
I opt for a definition of subliminal that has pragmatic value. The value of subliminal information is, and always was, to deliver information without conscious interference. Many have eloquently argued for the advantages. This author would refer the reader to Norman Dixon (1991) for more regarding the strategies and rewards inherent in subliminally presented information.
Mirrored Information Processing (MIP) is a model for information processing in the human brain. It may prove valid. It may already have contributed to understanding more fully how we process, learn, remember, and create information. Its predictions regarding how we respond to language have passed extensive testing. Possibly, some alternative model will better explain these results. Regardless, the simultaneous delivery of reverse speech and forward speech for the presentation of subliminal information has proven itself effective for many goals in therapy and personal development.
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