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Research reveals new NLP Submodality

By on August 5, 2014

A fascinating piece of research has just emerged from the world of brain scanning from Oita University in Japan. Yoshinori Mizokami and his colleagues used fMRI to scan the brains of subjects while they made judgements about the aesthetic beauty of either photographs or paintings of the same scenes.

What the researchers found was that very distinct areas of the brain light up when appreciating paintings than when appreciating  photographs. You can read the research below.

This research essentially identifies a new ‘sub modality’ of the visual sense. In NLP a submodality is a finer distinction of the visual sense. It doesn’t refer to the content of a picture, but rather qualities such as is a picture moving or still, near or far, color or black and white, etc. To that list we can now add ‘photograph’ or ‘painting’. And further we can add ‘impressionist’, ‘pointillist’, ‘abstract’, ‘surrealist’ etc.

So how can we use this in practice? Let’s say your client walks in with a problem. Follow the steps below:

  1. Ask your client to make a picture in their mind of the issue.
  2. Ask them to rank the issue on a SUDs scale (Subjective Units of Distress) of 1-10.
  3. Ask them if its moving or still. If moving, ask them to make it still.
  4. Ask them if its framed or unframed. If unframed, ask them to put it into a frame.
  5. Now lead them to make the picture in the ‘style-of’ a painting. You can show them examples of painting styles beforehand to prime them if they are not into art. Ask them to re-rank the issue on the SUDs scale.
  6. Ask them to change the picture to another style of art.
  7. Now ask them to compare the aesthetics (beauty) of the two ‘paintings’ they have just made, which is better for them?
  8. Repeat a couple more times with different art styles.
  9. Occasionally ask them about the SUDs scale until it comes down (to zero hopefully!).

Please enjoy playing with this pattern. We have begun experimenting and found it both fun and transformative.

You can find the complete research below.

Frontiers | Difference in brain activations during appreciating paintings and photographic analogs is a relatively young field within cognitive neuroscience, concerned with the neural underpinnings of aesthetic experience of beauty, particularly in visual art.

In conclusion, the present findings suggest a possibility that bilateral cuneus and the left lingual gyrus may be also closely associated with aesthetic appreciation of representational paintings. Frontiers | Difference in brain activations during appreciating paintings and photographic analogs

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