Progressive Awareness Research

Improving Lives One Person at a Time since 1984.

Subliminal Literature: Bibliography and Review


Peripheral Desk Reference L

Lander, E. (1981, February). In through the out door. Omni, 3 (6), p. 44.


Landis, T., L. Christen, et al. (1992). "Dissociated hemispheric and stimulus effects upon affective choice and recognition." International Journal of Neuroscience 62(1-2): 81-87.

Two major effects were observed in this study which subliminally presented hemisphere specific dissociations to 72 men between the ages of 20 and 30 years old. Researchers concluded that reciprocal inhibition may underlie the reason between the types of judgements. The inhibition effect was stronger for the right than for the left visual filed.


Langerholc, J. (1984). "What is the Mona Lisa really smiling about?" Rivista di Psicologia dell'Arte 6(10-11): 5-22

Criticizes Freudians for interpreting the many subliminal male faces in the Mona Lisa as an automatic unconscious attribute of the artist's mind.


Lasaga, J.I. & Lasaga, A.M. (1973). Sleep learning and progressive blurring of perception during sleep. Crownsville State Hospital, MD. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 37 (1), pp 51-62. ISSN: 0031-5125.

Jose and Agueda Lasaga presented verbal stimuli (numbers) to the subjects during different stages of sleep.

Fifteen seconds after each presentation the subjects were awakened and asked if they had heard anything. If not, they were given a multiple-choice test that included the stimulus number and three other numbers.

The results show that;

a) even during Stages 3 and 4 some perception of verbal stimuli is possible during sleep.

b) there is a progressive burring of perception from State 1 and REM to Stages 3 and 4, and;

c) some forms of learning are possible during sleep deeper than the drowsy state, but perceptual distortions make the assimilation of complex verbal materials unlikely.

It was also noticed that most verbal stimulations tended to produce a lightening of sleep as measured by the EEG.

Based on the response of some of the subjects, there is a possibility of subliminal perception during sleep.


Lasser, E. S.
(1977). "Ethical considerations in pathology-intensifying research." American Psychologist 32(7): 577-578.

Objects to Lloyd Silverman's work on the basis that he failed to obtain informed consent from the subjects. Silverman's response is also included.


Lazarus, R.S. & McCleary, R.A. (1951). Automatic discrimination without awareness: A study of subception. Psychological Review, 58, pp 113-122.


Leclerc, C. & Freibergs, V. (1971). The influence of perceptual and symbolic subliminal stimuli on concept formation. Canadian Journal of Psychology, 25 (4), pp 292-301. Language: FRENCH.

Claude Leclerc and Vaira Freibergs examined the influence of perceptual and symbolic subliminal stimuli on concept formation.

The concept to be learned was represented by geometric figures.

Before each concept was put forward, the subjects were presented with a backward masked subliminal stimulus. The stimulus indicated either the correct or incorrect solution.
The results show that only the symbolic subliminal stimuli were effective in influencing the learning of a concept, and this particularly in the case where the correct solution was indicated.

It was concluded that the effect of a subliminal stimulus depends on the degree of correspondence between the level of complexity of the stimulus and that of the task.

Ledford, B.R. (1978, August). The effects of thematic content of rheostatically controlled visual subliminals upon the receiving level of the affective domain of learners. Commerce, Texas: East Texas State University, Center for Educational Media and Technology.

Bruce Ledford conducted this study in order to determine the effects of rheostatically controlled visual subliminals on the affective interrelations of a learning task of subjects within a classroom setting.

The subjects were divided into four groups, and were unknowingly exposed to a rheostatically projected subliminal message for 30 minutes during otherwise normal classroom procedures.

The subjects were then asked to complete a questionnaire revealing their consciousness of, willingness to learn about, and desire to elicit selective attention to faces shown on six slides, one being the subliminally presented task.

Of the stimuli content tested, a drive related sex stimulus was the most significant in affective influence.


Ledford, B.R. & Ledford, S.Y. (1985). The effects of preconscious cues upon the automatic activation of self-esteem selected middle school students. Requirement for Project 1246. Tucson Unified School District.

Bruce and Suzanne Ledford performed this study in order to investigate whether self esteem could be affected by the presentation of a subliminal stimulus through the medium of a specially prepared paper.

The study also examined whether or not there is any statistical difference between the effects on self-esteem of a subliminal stimulus on under- (Target Learners) and average- achieving (Mainstream Learners) students.

All groups were given the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES). The experimental group's test was printed on paper that contained the subliminal visual image "I love you" and the symbol of a Valentine heart.

The control group's test was administered on untreated paper.
The results showed that;

a) both Mainstream and Target experimental groups showed enhancement of self esteem, and

b) subjects who were identified as under-achievers and who had problems in socialization appeared to benefit slightly more from the techniques than did Mainstream subjects.


Ledford, B. R., L. Robison, et al. (1987). "The effects of preconscious visual symbolic and linguistic cues upon the academic achievement of college students." Imagination, Cognition & Personality 7(3): 251-264.

Tested the effects of preconscious visual clues on academic performance. Results found significance only for males in the study.


Lee, I. & Tyrer, P. (1980). Response of chronic agoraphobics to subliminal and supraliminal phobic motion pictures. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 168 (1), pp 34-40. ISSN: 0022-3018.

This study was performed in order to investigate the responses of agoraphobics to repeated presentations of a phobic motion picture.

The subjects were divided into three groups;

a) group 1 were shown the film supraliminally,

b) group 2 were shown the film subliminally, and

c) group 3 formed the control group.

Subjective feelings were assessed with visual analogue scales, and three physiological measures, heart rate, skin conductance, and respiratory rate, were recorded.

A previous study had shown that both subliminal and supraliminal presentations produced significant improvements in phobic fear and avoidance.

This study found that the subliminal group found the procedure much less stressful than the subliminal group.

There was no consistent pattern in the physiological changes during the experiment, and the changes appeared to be independent of clinical response.

The results showed that repeated exposure to subliminal phobic motion pictures is not anxiety provoking to agoraphobic patients and so may be appropriate therapy for those unable to tolerate other forms of treatment.


Lee, I. & Tyrer, P. (1981). Self report and physiological response to subliminal and supraliminal motion pictures. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 169 (5), p. 294.


Lee, I & Tyrer, P. & Horn, S. (1983). A comparison of subliminal, supraliminal and faded phobic cine-films in the treatment of agoraphobia. Electronic Facilities Design LTD, Reading, England. British Journal of Psychiatry, 143, pp 356-361. ISSN: 0007-1250.

Ian Lee, Peter Tyrer and Sandra Horn studied four groups of agoraphobics, who were treated by repeated exposure to films at twice weekly intervals for 3 weeks.
Three of the groups saw the same film, comprising a range of agoraphobic scenes, and a control group saw a potter working on his wheel.
The experimental groups saw the phobic film;

1) at an illumination level below the visual threshold (subliminal group),

2) under normal conditions (supraliminal group), and

3) through a graduated exposure from subliminal to supraliminal viewing levels as the study proceeded (faded group).

The results showed that the faded group gave significantly greater improvement than the control and supraliminal groups, and this improvement was maintained over 12 weeks.


Leiter, E. (1974). A study of the effects of subliminal activation of merging fantasies in the differentiated and non-differentiated schizophrenics. New York University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 34 (8-B), pp 4022-4023.


Leiter, E. (1982). The effects of subliminal activation of aggressive and merging fantasies in differentiated and non-differentiated schizophrenics. The Bronx Psychiatric Center, New York, NY. Lund University. Psychological Research Bulletin, 22 (7), 21 pages. ISSN: 0348-3673.

Eli Leiter carried out this study in order to determine the effects of the subliminal activation of aggressive and merging fantasies in differentiated and non-differentiated schizophrenics.
The subjects were assessed on several measures of differentiation and were then exposed to 3 conditions in a subliminal psychodynamic activation experiment.
The conditions were designed to;

1) activate aggressive fantasies,

2) activate symbiotic fantasies, and

3) act as a neutral control condition.

The results showed that the aggressive condition intensified pathology, whereas the symbiotic condition reduced pathology for the more-differentiated schizophrenics but increased it for the less-differentiated subjects.

The Adjective Rating Scale, a measure of sense of separateness, was used to obtain the criterion score for degree of differentiation.

Other more-general measures of differentiation from the rod-and-frame test, Embedded Figures Test, Rorschach and the Figure Drawing Test did not predict performance after the symbiotic condition.


Lehmann, A.G. & Busnel, R.G. (1979). Reduction of swimming time in mice through interaction of infrasound and alcohol. Lab de Physiologie Acoustique, Jouy-en-Josas, France. Psychopharmacology, 65 (1), pp 79-84. ISSN: 0033-3158.

Lehmann and Busnel studied the effects of noise, alcohol and the combination of the two on muscular fatigue during swimming in Swiss albino RB-3 GFF +/+ and the GFF dn/dn mice. The aim of the experiment was to investigate a possible interaction between the two stresses.

Muscular fatigue was measured by latency to submersion during a forced-swimming test.
The subjects were exposed to acoustic stimuli of fixed frequency and intensity for two hours preceding the test.

Ethanol was administered orally for 30 minutes to 3.5 hours prior to testing.
The alcohol doses and sound intensities were subliminal when administered separately.
While no significant interaction occurred between alcohol and audible sound, the interaction between alcohol and infrasound was highly significant, indicating that their joint effects were more than merely additive.

The blood alcohol measurements indicated that these interactive effects were prolonged for more than two hours after elimination of alcohol from the blood.

The effects are similar in genetically deaf and hearing mice, which implicates the involvement of nonauditory pathways.


Lempel, C. S. (1992). The effect of subliminal stimulation of symbiotic fantasies on the treatment of polysubstance abusers, Long Island U, Brooklyn Ctr, NY, US.


Lenz, S. (1989). The effects of subliminal auditory stimuli on academic learning and motor skills performance among police recruits. California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles, CA. Unpublished doctoral dissertation.

Suzanne Lenz performed this study in order to explore the effects of subliminal auditory tapes in a structured learning setting, focusing on both motor and verbal learning.
The subjects were divided into three groups;

a) group one listened to music tapes with embedded subliminal messages relating to learning law and enhancing marksmanship,

b) group 2 listened to music tapes without subliminal messages, and

c) group three underwent no treatment.

The experimental groups were exposed to the music tapes during a regular class on law instruction.

All the subjects were given both pre- and post-tests in law and marksmanship.
The results showed that neither music alone nor music with subliminal messages played during law instruction affected the cognitive (i.e., law) learning of the recruits, or improved motor skills (i.e., marksmanship) performance.

Although this study was well structured in terms of design and protocol, and the results were accurately reported, a major flaw can be found in the technical design of the tapes. The subliminal messages were recorded at 40-50 db below the sound of the music, and as such are too low to be perceived.


Lenz, S. (1990). The effect of subliminal auditory stimuli on academic learning and motor skills performance among police recruits, California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles, US.


Leuschner, W., S. Hau, et al. (1994). "Disassociation and reassociation of subliminally induced stimulus material in drawings of dreams and drawings of waking free imagery." Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams 4(1): 1-27.

The cocnlusion of this study suggests that the visual processing of subliminal stimuli can be explained via a dissociation-reassociation hypothesis.


Levenson, R.W. (1983). Personality research and psychophysiology: General considerations. Indiana University, Bloomington. Journal of Research in Personality, 17 (1), pp 1-21. ISSN: 0092-6566.

Robert Levenson presents a general discussion of psychophysiological methods in relationship to personality research for the investigator without an extensive knowledge of psychophysiology.

Included in this article is a section on the advantages inherent in the use of psychophysiological measures (e.g., continuous measurement, sensitivity to subliminal responses).


Levy, M.A. (1985). The intimacy motive: A variable to predict responsiveness to subliminal symbiotic stimulation. Adelphi University, Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies. Dissertation Abstracts International, 45 (7-B), p. 2314. ISSN: 0419-4209.

Previous studies have shown that the presentation of subliminal symbiotic messages, via the "subliminal psychodynamic activation" method developed by Silverman (1982), can have a beneficial impact on various aspects of human functioning and a wide range of behaviors.
The aim of this study was to determine whether the personality characteristic, intimacy motivation, could predict responsiveness to subliminal symbiotic stimuli.

Two unrelated dependent variables were used;

1) a time estimation task, where an overestimation of the duration of a tone (50 seconds) was predicted for the experimental subjects, who were presented with the symbiotic message, "Mommy and I are one", while no overestimation was predicted for the control group, who were shown the neutral message, "People are walking".

2) a state-anxiety measure, where it was hypothesized that the experimental subjects would demonstrate lower levels of anxiety than the control subjects.

It was predicted from an exploratory hypothesis that experimental subjects who had high intimacy motivation scores would be the most responsive to the symbiotic stimuli.
The results failed to support all three hypotheses, which suggests the possibility that no subliminal effects occurred whatsoever in the experiment.


Levy, S. (1984). The selling of the subliminal. Popular Computing, 3 (6), pp 70,75-78.

Steven Levy describes ExpandoVision, a computer controlled television device that flashes subliminal self-help messages on the television screen during routine viewing of regular programs.

The effectiveness and dangers of subliminal persuasion are discussed.


Lewis, A.J., Parker, J., DiLuigi, J., Datko, L.J. & Carlson, R.P. (1981-1982). Immunomodulation of delayed hypersensitivity to methylated bovine serum (MBSA) in mice using subliminal and normal sensitization procedures. Journal of Immunopharmacology, 3 (3-4), pp 289-307.


Lieberman, H.J. (1975). A study of the relationship between developmentally determined personality and associated thought styles and tachistoscopic exposure as reflected in conflict resolution. Pennsylvania State University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 35 (11-B), pp 5670-5671.

Previous research suggests that variations in stimulus visibility (from supraliminal to subliminal) parallels, in psychoanalytic terms, a conscious to unconscious continuum, and a developmental hierarchy of different personality and thought styles.

Three visibility levels were chosen for this study; supraliminal, perceptual defense (recognition threshold and subliminal.

The response to each development stage were investigated by studying how passive aggressive conflicts were handled at different exposure levels.

Neutral, passive and aggressive words were used.

Personality adaptation was based on the ratio of passive and aggressive content scores on the Holtzman Inkblot technique.

The results indicate that passive-aggressive orientation helped determine how subjects perceived stimuli at all exposure levels.

Subliminal stimulus type influenced the direction of responses without distorting the personality adaptation and defense style modes of response.

When subliminal stimulation was presented before supraliminal stimuli, subliminal stimulation effects were potent enough to alter and disorganize personality adaptation and defensive style responses.

It was concluded that response processes varied with stimulus visibility.

The fact that subliminal stimulation before supraliminal exposure was more effective than subliminal stimulation after supraliminal exposure in activating and effecting response processes was attributed to the former being interpreted as more internal in origin, less controllable and therefore more-anxiety inducing than the latter.


Lindeman, M. L. (1985). "Suggestion in education: The historical path of suggestopedia." Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 6(1-2): 107-118.

This article suggests that all forms of education include suggestion of some kind. Further, suggestion and suggestability are important roles in education.


Linehan, E.J. (1980). The effect of subliminal stimulation of symbiotic fantasies on college student self-disclosure in group counseling. St. John's University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 41 (01-A), p. 108.


Linehan, E.J. & O'Toole, J. (1982). Effect of subliminal stimulation of symbiotic fantasies on college student self-disclosure in group counseling. St. Clare's Hospital Community Mental Health Center, Industrial Employee Assistance Program, Denville, NJ. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 29 (2), pp 151-157. ISSN: 0022-0167.

Edward Linehan and James O'Toole studied subliminal symbiotic stimulation as a treatment aid in conjunction with counselor self-disclosures in group counseling.

The subjects were divided into three groups, with each group being further subdivided in an experimental and a control group.

Before each group counselling session, the experimentals received the subliminal message, "Mommy and I are one," and the controls received the neutral message, "People are walking."

In the counseling session that followed;

a) group 1 were exposed to 8 counselor self-disclosures (CSDs),

b) group 2 received 4 CSDs, and

c) group 3 received zero CSDs.

The results showed that the experimental "Mommy" message produced more subject self disclosures (SSDs) than the neutral message.

These results with the "Mommy" stimulus, together with previous findings, indicate that the subliminal stimulation of symbiotic fantasies can enhance the effectiveness of therapeutic procedures of various kinds.


Lipkins, R. H. (1988). An experimental study of the effects of symbiotic gratification fantasy, separation anxiety, and castration anxiety on attitudes toward the physically disabled and state anxiety, New York U, US.


Litwack, T.R., Wiedemann, C.F. & Yager, J. (1979). The fear of object loss, responsiveness to subliminal stimuli, and schizophrenic psychopathology. Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease, 167 (2), pp 79-90. ISSN: 0022-3018.

Thomas Litwack, Carl Wiedemann and Joan Yager examined the effects of object loss and responsiveness to subliminal stimuli on schizophrenic psychopathology.

The subjects were seen individually for 3 sessions in a balanced design.

In each session, following subliminal stimulation with a neutral stimulus, a baseline assessment of pathology was made.

In different sessions in counterbalanced order, each patient received 2 of 3 experimental (or "critical") stimuli;

(a) a neutral control stimulus,

(b) a message ("cannibal eats person") intended to activate aggressive ideation, and

(c) a message ("I am losing mommy") intended to activate fantasies of object loss.

Each of these conditions was followed by an initial and later assessment of pathology, and finally by a measure of the patients' sense of differentiation from a mothering figure.
The results showed that;

a) the subliminal aggressive message intensified pathology and aggressive ideation, especially for relatively undifferentiated and relatively non-defended patients'

b) the subliminal stimulation of fantasies of objects loss also increased pathology, especially for non-defended patients , and also increased the patients sense of merging with mothering object, and

c) the patients' response to subliminal stimuli, including presumably neutral ones, was a function of the conscious meaning (s) of such stimuli.

It was concluded that;

1) the threat of object loss (real or fantasied) may be one of the motivations supporting the development of pathology in schizophrenics,

2) the activation of fantasies of aggressive destruction can exacerbate schizophrenic pathology, perhaps by activating fantasies of object loss, and

3) future research with subliminal stimulation should consider carefully the differential responsiveness of subjects to the content of particular messages.


Locke, E. L. (1991). "The Vance decision: The future of subliminal communication." Law & Psychology Review 15: 375-394.

The process by which subliminal information affects behavior is outlined in this article about the Vance vs. Judas Priest case.


Lodl, C.M. (1981). The effects of subliminal stimuli of aggressive content upon the analytic/field independent cognitive style. Marquette University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 41 (9 B), pp 3559-3560.


Lomangino, L.F.
(1969). Depiction of subliminally and supraliminally presented aggressive stimuli and its effects on the cognitive functioning of schizophrenics. Dissertation Abstracts International, 30 (4-B), pp 1900-1901.


Lombard, J. (1979). Advertising. Elements: Translating theory into practice, 11 (1), pp 406.

Jim Lombard presents example of subliminal or indirect advertising in the mass media.
It is suggested that advertising analysis be part of the elementary curriculum so that children can become sensitized to such nonverbal influence on their behavior.


Lorenzo, G.J. (1985). Subliminal stimulation and psychopathologic diagnosis. University Autonoma de Madrid, Facultad de Psicologia, Spain. Psiquis Revista de Psiquiatria, Psicologia y Psicosomatica, 6 (1), pp 30-40. ISSN: 0210-8348. Language: SPANISH.

In this article, Jose Gonzalez Lorenzo contends, on the basis of data from several investigations, that external stimuli not in the subject's awareness may cause a response of overt behavior, disorders of thinking, affective orders, or other abnormalities.

It is suggested that unconscious psychopathology may be activated by a wide range of stimuli that are relevant to the diagnosis and therapy of the mentally ill.


Lorenzo, G.J. (1985). Influence of subliminal stimulation on perception. Revista de Psicologia General y Aplicada, 40 (5), pp 1019-1031.

This study evaluated three verbal stimuli related to profession. Statistical findings suggest that the subjects responses were determined by the subliminal information they received.


Lozanov, G. (1971) Suggestology. Sophia: Nauki Izkustvi


Lozanov, G. (1978). Suggestology and Outlines of Suggestopedia. New York: Gordon and Breach.

Georgi Lozanov discusses how he used subliminal audio messages to enhance learning abilities in language and mathematics.


Lynn, R.L. (1987). Relaxation: low intensity (subliminal) phrases versus instructional set. Dissertation Abstracts International, 48 (3-B), p. 882.


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