According to a study completed by a team in the Psychology Department at the Hebrew University, humans can read and do math non-consciously.
The conclusions of the Hebrew University team were published this week in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) in the US. The research team, headed by Dr. Ran Hassin, included graduate students Asael Sklar, Ariel Goldstein, Nir Levy and Roi Mandel, as well as Dr. Anat Maril.
To present sentences and equations unconsciously, the researchers used a cutting-edge technique called Continuous Flash Suppression (CFS). In CFS, one eye is exposed to a series of rapidly changing images, while the other is simultaneously exposed to a constant image. The rapid changes in the one eye dominate consciousness, so that the image presented to the other eye is not experienced consciously. Using this technique, more than 270 students at the Hebrew University were exposed to sentences and arithmetic problems.
In one set of experiments using this technique, participants were asked to pronounce numbers that appeared on a computer's screen. These numbers were preceded with unconscious arithmetic equations. The results of the experiments showed that participants could more quickly pronounce the conscious number if it had been the result of the unconscious equation. For example, when 9-5-1 was shown non-consciously, the participants were faster in pronouncing 3 than 4, even though they did not consciously see the equation.
|Small Electroshocks to the Brain Improve Arithmetic Skills|
|Scientists Sceptical of Lockheed Martin's Promised Fusion Reactor|
|The Only Roadblock to a Head Transplant Is Ethics, Not Science|
|We Could Be Living Inside a Black Hole|
|DNA Like Software, Cells Like Computers|
|“How this religious holiday became the rampant, love-fuelled corp-fest.”|
|“A low flyover of Jupiter's moon Europa.”|
|“A sophisticated global marketing strategy from an industry that is desperate to attract new smokers.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|U.S.S. Enterprise Owner's Manual|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“When Life Gives You Lemons.”|
|iPhone 6, the First Smartphone to Disrupt NSA's Spying|
|“The Amazon Dash button for horny men and women who don’t feel comfortable telling their partner they’d like to have sex.”|
|Recycled Vacuum Lamps|
|Fake Name Generator|