Tapping In

How much can we learn from subliminal sensory training?

A team of researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are discovering new applicationsĀ for passive haptic learning (PHL) through a study using Google Glass.

They developed a game that teaches them Morse code passively through a set of vibrations passed through Glass’s bone-conduction transducer. As they learned this language, half of the participants “felt the vibration taps…for each corresponding letter” while the control group felt no taps. [1]

Photo credit: Thomas Hawk
Photo credit: Thomas Hawk

Participants who were receiving vibration signals were able to learn while “not paying attention” and could pass a test on Morse code in less than four hours.

PHL has “has taught people braille, how to play the piano and improved hand sensation for those with partial spinal cord injury” [1]. The applications of this method could eventually be translated to other mobile smart devices.

Passive communication in other forms (such as body language and facial expressions) already has the potential to teach us about different cultures; the research here could add an additional element to the human communication experience by providing subliminal, immediate learning through confirmation systems with those vibrations. This could tap into parts of our learning we have not explored in the past.



[1] Scientists teach people to learn Morse code in four hours without trying. (2016, October 27). Retrieved November 2, 2016, from http://www.psypost.org/2016/10/scientists-teach-people-learn-morse-code-four-hours-without-trying-45633

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