The phenomenon has no research about it anywhere. It appears in first semester college psychology under psychophysics, subliminal sight, and
peripheral vision reflexes.
A classroom reference to the original discovery might be, "subliminal sight caused a problem in the early days of modern office design." That's
what my teacher said.
When she did, I made the connection to the problem I had encountered as an engineering student forty years earlier. I began to investigate it when my
wife had a psychotic break in the payroll office of the University of Alabama about ten years later. No doctor had heard of the problem and insisted
drugs for her condition were safe. She had a severe reaction to them and began a decline.
Although you can learn to ignore movement in your peripheral vision while you attempt to concentrate, you do not have voluntary control over the brain
system that uses subliminal sight to detect movement and trigger the reflex. When you ignore that movement the startle will stop but the detection of
moment and attempt to trigger the reflex continue.
The repeating subliminal appreciation of threat-movement will eventually color thought and reason. Outcomes can be shown to be panic attacks,
paranoia, fear, depression, and thoughts of suicide.
No one has established why the mental break happens. The lecture suggestion was that the effort to ignore the vision reflex caused a conflict that
would build until the mental break happened. I have the theory that you brain eventually finds the subliminal vision input and attempts to understand
it and integrate it into consciousness and reality. Vision input for the reflex trigger is M-Channel only. This is half the normal vision input. It is
missing P-Channel, color and shape information.
This creates false connections and paths between neurons. When enough of these exist your brain cannot function and you have a dissociative mental
break. If there is no additional exposure the new synapses dissolve from disuse. You will recover with no treatment and never have additional
One of my wife’s first symptoms was hearing voices.
THE CUBICLE WAS CREATED TO PREVENT THIS PROBLEM.
Cubicles block peripheral vision so that triggering movement cannot be detected. Placing your
computer where there is no one walking nearby while you use it would be Cubicle Level Protection
Sit in a corner or with your back to the wall, study in a room with nothing that moves or light that blinks, and pick a classroom seat beside a quiet
person that does not fidget.
Yes Classroom seating while digesting the lecture and making notes is the same situation as the business office problem. Our physiology evolved for
hunter-gather societies. The startle with the detection of movement in peripheral vision was a benefit to those early pre-human ancestors.
Even so there are a group of mental problems of those primitive societies such as Grisi Siknis
There have been periodic outbreaks of this problem and a recent one after hurricane Fredric. Other Culture Bound Syndromes
are Ghost Sickness,
and Windigo Psychosis.
I have suggested that too-small single-room living arrangements allow Subliminal Distraction exposure when family groups are forced by weather to stay
inside that single room hut for several days.
We have no adaptation for sitting in a crowded situation with threat-movement in peripheral vision while concentrating for long periods. Daydreaming
is enough dissociation to engage the detection system and cause Subliminal Distraction exposure.
Cubicle Level Protection is the only solution.
[edit on 4-10-2008 by asala]