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Even if you can't see it, it's still under control.

Updated: May 29, 2022

By studying "Study of Consciousness", I would like to think about my method and the coaching theory, such as the method of unconscious rewriting.

This series of blog posts is my study note.


Cognitive systems that control the work of the mind, avoid automatic reactions, switch tactics, and detect mistakes have long been thought to be solely due to the work of consciousness.

But more recently, advanced executive functioning of the mind has been shown to work unknowingly based on invisible (unaware) stimuli.

This time, I will talk about controlling oneself and suppressing automatic reactions.

Experiment "Stop Signal Task"

  • Press the key when the shape appears on the screen.

  • In rare cases, when a black circle is displayed, please do not press it after that.

The ability to suppress normal reactions is the function of the mind's primary executive system.

Numerous studies have shown it.

Dutch psychologist Simon van Gaal has set the following tasks:

"Do you need consciousness to suppress the reaction?"

Will the subject suppress behaviour even if the stop signal is presented subliminally?


  • When the masked and obscured stop signal was flushed, the subject's hand movement slowed and sometimes the reaction was completely interrupted.

The stimulus that caused the suppression was not visible to the subject, so of course, the reason for the interruption was unknown to him.

From this discovery, we can see that "even if you cannot see it,

you are the object of control."

Even invisible stop signals can create waves of activity that travel deep into the execution network, allowing control of one's behaviour.

Similarly, you may detect your mistakes without being aware of them.

In eye movement experiments, when a subject's eyes deviate from the target, they are present in the anterior cingulate cortex, even if they are unaware of this movement and even if they are unaware that the eyes have deviated from the target. It is known that the activity of the central nervous system that controls executive function is triggered.

In short, psychological experiments have fully demonstrated that sub-level perception is present, but numerous mental processes are triggered without the action of consciousness.

It is now believed that almost all brain processes can act unknowingly, but the picture above shows a brain known to be activated without the human being is aware of it. I am.

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