In Wetumpka, AL.
The Wayback Machine will show this site is a 14 year investigation of Subliminal Distraction.
If you wish to help in this project, send the Home page URL to your email list and encourage everyone to do the same.
Preventing Subliminal Distraction episodes, mistaken for mental illness, is simple and free.
Copyright 2003 Edit Friday February 10, 2017
Copyright Contact page Demonstration of subliminal sight
If you reached this page from a search engine enter the site here.
How were Subliminal Distraction mental events discovered?
If you found this page from a search engine links to other pages are on the bottom of the HOME page.
You are here --> How were Subliminal Distraction mental break discovered?
Next Page Why does the mental break happen?
In the late 1950's and early 60's a group of designers, engineers, and human factor scientists were hired to research then modernize the business office by creating new workstations their employers could sell.
The first prototypes of modern close-spaced workstations were introduced in 1964. Herman Miller Inc., produced the Action Office 1. Steelcase created the Steelcase 9000. Some of the workers using the new workstations began to have mental breaks.
I was a 22 year old engineering student at the University of Alabama in 1966. I learned that someone noticed that the mental breaks were not happening scattered around the offices but happened only at one or two desks in each location. It was always the same desks. Everyone who used those desks for more than a few days had a mental event. That gave engineers the information to show it was not mental illness but something they had done in designing the new workstations.
Experts in human physiology were called in to evaluate the problem. It was .. the long term consciously forced suppression of the vision startle reflex. The cubicle was designed to block peripheral vision to prevent the subliminal detection of threat-movement to cause repeating subliminal, undetectable, failed attempts to execute the vision startle reflex. The problem was eventually named for the normal feature in our physiology of sight that allows it to happen, Subliminal Distraction. (Herman Miller Inc. claims the invention of the cubicle on their website.)
Subliminal Distraction mental events are the only mental break, psychiatric mental event, that has successfully been evaluated and PREVENTED. Designers and engineers created the office cubicle to stop it by 1968. To this day they do not recognize that it is a problem of physiology not offices.
Although those engineers quickly solved the problem they did not understand what they had found.
Mental health professionals are unaware the problem exists.
The tiny, tiny number of people aware of the problem, designers and engineers who work in 'Systems Furniture,' see only light episodes from an eight hour work day and believe the phenomenon is harmless.
When bizarre or inappropriate behavior starts in a business office there is staff to send the worker to a hospital for evaluation. At home for a home computer user, or video game player there is no one to notice the subtle beginning of paranoia, panic, or depression. When students and home computer users create the "special circumstances" for this problem their exposure can last much longer until there is a severe outcome.
When you think of the problem, imagine that you can pick up the incorrectly designed office workstation in those 1960's offices and by using computers engage the same level of mental investment, by dropping the computer workstation beside a large mirror or in a location where family or pets walk by thus creating the "special circumstances."
The busy office situation with staff walking beside an unprotected concentrating knowledge worker's desk is replaced by hours using the computer with family or pets moving in peripheral vision. In the case of Peka-Eric Auvinen's computer location in his bedroom, released by the Finnish National Police, a huge mirror on a closet door substituted for movement in peripheral vision. In other cases blinking lights on the computer CPU were mistaken for threat movement when the blinking lights were swept through peripheral vision with a head turn.
If you have a ceiling fan in your computer room, look up at the turning blades. Determine the direction of rotation and look at the side of the fan where the blades approach your position. Quickly turn your head to follow the direction of rotation. The blades will appear to stop and start again. If you manage to create this exercise with the location of your computer so there is a ceiling fan in peripheral vision, then turn your head to read or write to one side of the computer, you can create the same phenomenon. But it will happen in subliminal sight to cause Subliminal Distraction exposure.
(In offices other staff are present to notice when strange behavior begins. Supervisors become involved when work product drops or achievement goals are missed. In colleges students can engage bizarre behavior or skip classes and no one thinks it is anything unusual. That allows SD exposure to go unnoticed until there are severe outcomes. There is circumstantial evidence that the Virginia Tech shooter, Cho, the Redlake tribal school shooter, Weise, the Jokela Finland school shooter, Auvinen, and the Atlanta day trader killer, Barton, all created this problem. Barton believed he was having a mental break from inherited mental illness.)
The defective work location can exist and be used for months with no movement in peripheral vision until a project or a change in circumstances at home or school increases exposure.
When it happened to my wife, Connie heard voices and had depressive crying episodes about impossible situations she hallucinated. This was far from the simple episode of confusion I would have expected. Every doctor who evaluated her believed she was seriously psychotically mentally ill. (Hospital records with those observations will follow.)
She vanished one night while rolling the garbage pick-up bin down to the paved road, about 60 feet down the driveway. We found her wandering a neighbors back pasture looking for a red truck she hallucinated someone had given her. There was no warning and she had acted normally before the mental event struck.
At first I thought the lack of knowledge about Subliminal Distraction was mental health ignorance in Alabama. But letters and phone calls revealed Subliminal Distraction is unknown in mental health services around the world.
In nine years sending emails and letters I found a single doctor who said he had seen the episodes from offices when he was in residency. He is an associate professor at Tuffs University.
Once you learn to ignore threat-movement and no longer turn and look to identify the movement, your brain cannot identify or separate exposure incidents. All subliminally detected movement in peripheral vision will become the same to your brain. Then when massive exposure happens those short incidents become from a "never identified source." All such exposure incidents, even those normally harmless, add to the total because your brain cannot separate sources of exposure. Your day becomes one long exposure event.
An example is texting on a phone. All the circumstances must be present, happen at the same time, to create problematic Subliminal Distraction exposure. You have seen videos of people waking into fountains, bumping into light poles, or walking into traffic while texting. That level of mental investment will allow Subliminal Distraction exposure. Normally those "texting" exposure incidents would fall below the level we all experience every day and thus would be harmless. But once serious exposure begins the small harmless events are perceived the same as every other exposure event. The Short concentrating sessions of texting in locations with detectable movement in peripheral vision will add together to reach a threshold for psychiatric symptoms.
Colleges do not make any provision to prevent Subliminal Distraction exposure. They do not warn students about study and computer use areas in homes, dorms, and student apartments.
College students have the same behaviors as knowledge workers in offices when they study or use a computer. You would expect to see increases in psychiatric symptoms on college campuses.
Each school year near midterms and finals students vanish or commit suicide. One study from a student at MIT said half the suicides at the school happen during those periods of intense study
Why does a mental break happen?
All the files from the original Subliminal Distraction research project were saved.
There are two suicide clusters, China and France, where businesses failed to provide effective for concentrating workers.
Links will be added as the pages are reconstructed.