Progressive Awareness Research

Improving Lives One Person at a Time since 1984.

Subliminal Literature: Bibliography and Review


Peripheral Desk Reference - A

Aarons, L. (1976). Sleep-assisted instruction. Illinois Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities. Chicago. Psychological Bulletin, 83 (1), pp 1-40.

Louis Aarons states that the differences in results obtained from studies on sleep learning, can be explained by differences in procedures and the lack of an established criterion for sleep.

From his research, Aarons deduced that the conditions necessary for effective sleep-learning are; low voltage EEG sleep patterns, positive motivation, meaningful learning materials, coordination with wake-learning activities and extended training.


Adam G. (1978). Visceroception, awareness and behavior. In G.E. Schwartz and D. Shapiro (Eds.) Consciousness and Self-regulation, Vol. 2, pp 199-213. Chichester, Wiley.

From his research, Adam found that:

1. Without any awareness of an intestinal stimulus (i.e. the inflating of a balloon lodged in the duodenum), the latter evoked an EEG arousal response.

2. The inflation of a similar intestinal balloon, which had been located 15 cm away from the first, resulted in renewed blocking of the EEG. This occurred inspite of the eventual habituation to the first stimulus.

Findings 1 and 2 demonstrate cortical discrimination of the spatial separation between two subliminal visceral stimuli.

3. When subliminal electric shocks were delivered to the cervix uteri of human subjects, there was, once again, electrographic evidence of cortical discrimination without awareness.

With finding 3 however, it was possible to bring eventual awareness of the cervical stimuli by using verbally mediated biofeedback.


Adams, J.K. (1957). Laboratory studies of behavior with awareness. Psychological Bulletin, 54, pp 383-405.

In this article Adams summarizes the findings of 76 earlier studies of behavior without awareness.

From his research Adam concludes that subjects have been able to discriminate among many types of auditory and visual stimuli presented below the threshold of awareness to a degree greater than chance.


Adams, T.L. (1986). Subliminal self improvement. East Detroit: Adams Life Enhancement Programs.

Terry Adams covers the evolution of subconscious learning, hypnosis, and subliminal communication in advertising and self-improvement.


Adams, V. (1982, May). Mommy and I are one. Psychology Today, 16 (5), pp 24-36.

Virginia Adams examines the research which has been carried out on subliminal perception.
The work of Lloyd Silverman is emphasized.

Silverman has conducted or directed more than 50 studies demonstrating that the subliminal presentation of emotionally charged messages can trigger unconscious thoughts and feelings and thus alter behavior.

It is Silverman who used a tachistoscope (apparatus for brief exposure of visual stimuli) to subliminally project words such as, "Mommy and I are one."

It was from his research that Silverman derived the theory of psychodynamic activation. This theory states that wish related subliminal stimuli have the power to activate psychodynamic processes - processes in which unconscious wishes, fantasies, anxieties and defensive operations - effect overt behavior.

Adamson, R., Henke, P. & O'Donovan, D. (1969). Avoidance conditioning following preadaptation to weak shock. Psychonomic Science, 14 (3), pp 119-121.

Robert Adamson, Peter Henke and Denis O'Donovan preadapted four groups of rats to no shock, 0.004, 0.008 and 0.02 ma.

The rats were then conditioned in a jump box to 0.03 ma. shock preceded by a bell.
The 0.004 and 0.008 groups required significantly fewer trials.

The results were related to those of studies using subliminal anchor stimuli with human subjects.


Aiba, T.S. (1963). Can the absolute threshold be conditioned? Journal of Experimental Psychology, 65, pp 233-9.

In this study, Aiba states that the absolute threshold can be altered by conditioning.


Ainsworth, L.L. (1989). "Problems with subliminal perception." Journal of Business & Psychology 3(3): 361-365.

The Author suggests that popular accounts of subliminal perception omit critical details and he discusses the results of such omissions.

Allen, G.J. & Condon, T.J. (1982). Whither subliminal psychodynamic activation? A reply to Silverman. University of Connecticut, Storrs. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 91 (2), pp 131 133. ISSN: 0021-843X

George Allen and Thomas Condon reply to comments by L.H. Silverman on their earlier criticisms of subliminal symbiotic stimulation as a clinical adjunct to systematic desensitization.

The authors state that none of the "contradictory" evidence deals with desensitization or any other treatment for phobic anxiety.

The authors believe that the alternative explanations Silverman derives from the new data are based on an arbitrary and simplistic method of data aggregation that lacks consistency across investigations.

As a result, the authors state that the resulting selective bias severely reduces the explanatory power of these alternative possibilities. As such the authors still believe that stimulation of unconscious merging fantasies is superfluous in desensitization.


Allison, J. (1963). Cognitive structure and receptivity to low intensity stimulation. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67, pp 132-8.

Research by Allison has shown that a relaxed state favors subliminal determination. However, this is only true of right hemisphericity subjects.

For a subliminal stimulus to be effective, there must be no competing cognitive structure"
There is clear support for the hypothesis that, a cognitive structure which allows for less logical, less differentiated elements, can better permit the incorporation of new stimuli.
Subliminal effects are maximized by having the subject in a state of relaxed passivity."


Allport, D.A. (1980). Patterns and actions and attention and performance. In G.L. Claxton (Ed.) New Directions in Cognitive Psychology. Chapters 2 and 4. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Allport states that there are certain rules which govern the interplay between memory, motivation and action.

These rules are either acquired or innate.


Anderson, A., Fries, I. & Smith, G.J.W. (1970). Change in after image and spiral after-effect serials due to anxiety caused by subliminal threat. Scandinavian Journal Of Psychology, 11 (1), pp 7-16.

Alf Anderson, Ingrid Fries and Gudmund Smith performed an experiment which involved the serial projection of negative afterimages, combined with the aftereffects of a rotating spiral.
In the middle of the sequence, the experimental subjects were subjected to subliminal threats by means of a metacontrast technique.
The results were as predicted and differed markedly from the results in the control groups.


Anderson, A., Nilson, A., Ruuth, E. & Smith, G.J.W. (1970). Change in after-image and after effect serials due to anxiety caused by subliminal threat. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, pp 7-16.


Anderson, A., Nilson, A., Ruuth, E., & Smith, G.J.W.
(1972) Visual after effects and the individual as an adaptive system. Lundi: Gleerup.

Andersson, Nilson, Ruuth and Smith demonstrated that a threatening stimulus masked by metacontrast may affect the color and duration of post-stimulus phenomena, such as after-images and the spiral after-effect.

In these studies, the influence of unconsciously registered meaning on a meaningless perceptual experience suggests that the subliminal stimulus was acting upon perceptual processes rather than response behavior.


Antell, M.
(1969). The effect of subliminal activation of sexual and aggressive drive derivatives on literary creativity. New York University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 30, p. 3859B.

Antell reported positive results in an investigation which replicates Silverman's dart experiment.


Antell, M.J. (1970). The effect of priming and the subliminal presentation of sexual and aggressive stimuli on tests of creativity. New York University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 30 (8-B), pp 3859-3860.

Maxine Antell tested the effects of the subliminal activation of sexual and aggressive drives on creativity.


Antell, M.J., & Goldberger, L. (1978). The effects of subliminally presented sexual and aggressive stimuli on literary creativity. Lund University. Psychological Research Bulletin, 18 (7), p. 20. ISSN: 0348-3673.

Maxine Antell and Leo Goldberger examined the effects of sexual and aggressive stimuli on creativity.

Two groups of subjects (creative and noncreative) received three conditions; sexual, aggressive and neutral stimulation.

On the Remote Associates Test, creative and noncreative groups did not differ on a baseline measurement.

Combining the groups gave results which showed that drive activation did facilitate creativity, and that sexual activation was superior to aggressive activation for this purpose.
In a task composing metaphors, drive activation was disruptive to performance.

It was found that aggressive activation was more disruptive than sexual stimulation, and that the noncreative group was more susceptible to such disruption than the creative group.


Arey, L.B. (1960). The indirect representation of sexual stimuli by schizophrenic and normal subject. Journal of Abnormal Social Psychology, 61 (3), pp 424-41.

In this study, it was shown that information presented below the awareness threshold tended to evoke semantically related responses.

The study required normal and schizophrenic males to guess the nature of tachistoscopically exposed sexual and neutral pictures.

While both groups gave symbolic responses to the subliminal stimuli, the normal males reflected positive attitudes and schizophrenics reflected negative attitudes toward sex.
This study showed that subliminal effects have unique characteristics different from effects of supraliminal stimuli.


Ariam, S. (1980). The effects of subliminal symbiotic stimuli in Hebrew on academic performances of Israeli high school students. (Doctoral dissertation, New York University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 40 (11-A), p. 5782.

Sima Ariam found that the use of subliminal symbiotic stimuli improved the academic performance of Israeli high school students.


Ariam, S & Siller, J. (1982). Effects of subliminal oneness stimuli in Hebrew on academic performance of Israeli high school students: further evidence on the adaptation-enhancing effects of symbiotic fantasies in another culture using another language. New York University. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 91 (5), pp 343-349. ISSN: 0021-843X.

Sima Ariam and Jerome Siller observed the effects of subliminal oneness stimuli in Hebrew on the academic performance of Israeli high school students.

This study provides evidence about the therapeutic effects of symbiotic fantasies in another culture using another language.

The subjects were 72 Israeli 10th graders (matched for sex, math class and previous math grades) randomly assigned to 4 treatment groups.

It was decided before the study to eliminate from the data analysis any students who were not from a Hebrew-speaking home, any students who could not be matched with other students on the three variables, and any student who had sporadic attendance during the six-week period of the study due to illness, etc.

Each group was tachistoscopically presented with subliminal exposures to one of four Hebrew translations of printed stimuli; "Mommy and I are one" (2 versions), "My teacher and I are one" and a neutral stimulus, "People are walking in the street."

Each subject received subliminal stimulation four times a week over a six-week period.
Achievement tests administered six weeks apart showed that the groups exposed to either version of "Mommy and I are one" exhibited significantly higher scores than either of the other groups.

There was no difference in the achievement tests administered to the groups exposed to the subliminal stimuli "My teacher and I are one and "People walking in the street".
Neither version of mommy and I are one was superior to the other.

The results support the hypothesis that the adaptation-enhancing effects of the symbolic fantasy represents a general human phenomenon and are consistent with findings of other studies.

Arzumanov Iul & Arzumanov Il (1974). Elaboration of temporary connections in man using unrecognized visual stimuli. Zh Vyssh Nerv Deiat., 24 (5), pp 917-923. Language: RUSSIAN.

Asciutto, C. L. (1991). The effects of subliminal stimulation on the interpretation of ambiguous sentences and figures, California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego, US.


Ashley, D. (1993). The effect of subliminally-presented reinforcing stimuli on factual material, U Southern California, US.

In this study, the researcher used the "Taylor method" to embed visual affirmations. Results showed a positive correlation suggesting that the subliminally reinforced factual material increased students scores on a final exam.


Athens, A. (1973, December). Beware, here comes the mind manipulators. Family Health, pp 38 42.

Art Athens discusses the use of subliminal technology for reducing retail theft.


Augenbraun, H.R.
(1983). The effect of subliminal activation of unconscious fantasies in the treatment of juvenile-onset and adult-onset obesity. Memphis State University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 43 (12-B), p. 4134. ISSN: 0419-4209.

Hedy Augenbraun examined the effect of subliminal activation of unconscious fantasies in the treatment of weight reduction for females with juvenile- and adult- onset obesity.


Aurell, C.G. (1979, October). Perception: A model comprising two modes of consciousness. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 49 (2), pp 431-444.


Averback, E. & Coriell, A.S. (1961). Short term memory in vision. Bell System Technical Journal, 40, pp 309-28.

In this study, it was found subjects may continue to obtain information from a subliminal stimulus for a brief period after the tachistoscopic exposure has ended.


The Controversy in the Differences of Audio Subliminal Technology

Subliminal Messages, Subliminal Audio, Subliminal Advertising and How it Works

The Power of the Subconscious Mind and Positive Thoughts or Self Talk

The InnerTalk Subliminal Technology

Report: The Truth About Subliminal Programs
(PDF Download)

Peripheral Learning Reference Guide

The Subliminal Challenge

Grants for Research