Planning peripheral perception - 1 of 4
A second way in which a teacher can help learners tap the resources of their mental reserves is the careful programming of what they will perceive on a paraconscious level (i.e, what they will see without realising they have seen it).
Since, at every moment, the human mind perceives much more than it is aware of, the amount of information we store subconsciously is astounding. For example, the colour of the hat worn by a woman you sat next to on a bus last year, or the words to a song you heard once when you were a child. Dr. Wilder Penfield demonstrated this by stimulating the cortex of a patient undergoing brain surgery with an electric needle while the patient was under local anaesthetic. *
This sort of information of weak intensity is constantly slipping into our minds without our realising it, at speeds our cognitive processes could never keep up with. Our attitudes toward people, subjects, and things are largely determined by these subliminal perceptions that find their way directly to our unconscious mind. For example, an otherwise perfectly convincing sales pitch by a life-insurance salesman could fall flat because at the moment he is 'moving in for the kill" with a sob story about his poor mother who was left destitute, the prospective customer catches him furtively glancing at his watch. In the event that the salesman is experienced, his glance might be so quick, and thus so barely perceptible, that it would not be consciously recognised by the customer until several hours later. During this time of "incubation", the customer may well feel uncomfortable and distrustful without knowing why.