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A Journey with the Junior Academy & The Poetzl Effect




for Members

A Journey with the Junior Academy & The Poetzl Effect

Monday, April 3, 2023


Presented By



11:30 am –11:45 am: Welcome and Introductions

11:45 am – 12:45 pm: Initial Presentation

Speaker: Joyce Greenberg

Topic: The Poetzl Effect: Evidence for a qualitative difference in what and how we see under subliminal (below conscious threshold) vs. supraliminal (above conscious threshold) viewing conditions

In 1918 the Austrian Neurologist Otto Poetzl reported an interesting finding from his work with neurologically impaired patients: visual material that circumvented awareness, either due to brain dysfunction or extremely brief exposure, could be recovered indirectly via subsequent waking imagery and dreams. He explored this further by varying both the exposure duration of a projected image and recovery conditions – direct requests to draw what was seen versus indirect requests to let images come to mind and draw them. Poetzl found that there was an inverse relationship between picture elements recovered in drawings immediately after exposure, and those indirectly recovered through intervening imagery. This seemed to suggest differential access to stimulus material as a function of mental state and has come to be known as the “Poetzl Effect”.

There have been many follow-ups to Poetzl’s experiments though interest as waxed and waned over the years. These later studies have used more rigorous methodology and have varied widely in theoretical viewpoint and interpretation. This presentation will pull together the results of some of these studies and their implications for future research. I will also touch on the importance of this line of research for furthering our understanding of perception in general and the role of emotion in bringing the visual world to life. I will use pictures to illustrate many of these ideas but don’t worry, none of them will be subliminal.

Joyce Greenberg received her B.A. in psychology from Brandeis University and her M.A. from The New School for Social Research, where she continued as a doctoral student in clinical psychology. As a doctoral candidate, she spent 3 years assisting Jerome Bruner in his research into the role narrative plays in the construction of the self. She also did a practicum in neuropsychological testing at Bellevue Hospital.

Joyce worked at Cornell Medical College in the mid-1980’s as part of a research team exploring the efficacy of stress-prevention training program designed for young men coming for HIV testing. Between the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, she taught the following courses within NYU’s Continuing Education Program: Introduction to Psychology, Psychopathology, and The Psychology of Deception. She has worked at Downstate Hospital in Brooklyn, as well as several outpatient facilities, doing psychodiagnostic testing and psychotherapy.

Main Presentation: 12:30 pm 2:15pm

Speaker: Julie Cmelik

Topic: A Journey with the Junior Academy

Julie will be talking about her experiences in the Junior Academy and how the program taught her valuable skills for the future. Beginning with her first introduction to this program in high school, she will share her journey from team member to leader of the winning team for the Fall 2021 Challenge, The Impact of COVID-19 on Non-Communicable Diseases. Included in this discussion will be an outline of different research that she and her teammates conducted for the 2020 and 2021 challenges. This section will contain information about the solutions In Touch, NetMed, and ALOIS. She will talk about the lessons she learned in relation to teamwork, leadership, and mentorship. Additionally, she will share how this experience impacted her interpersonal skills and academic future, tying it into general insights that others can apply. Lastly, she will express how being a member of the Junior Academy has prepared her for college as well as the future, showing why opportunities like the Junior Academy are important for rising scientists.

Julie Cmelik is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in software development at Harding University in Arkansas. She is a trustee scholar, honors student, and a member of the American Studies Institute. She was the leader of the winning team of the New York Academy of Science’s Junior Academy Fall 2021 challenge “The Impact of COVID-19 on Noncommunicable Diseases.” Her team looked at ways to integrate technology into the detection and therapy of Alzheimer’s disease. In the future, she would like to work in the front end of technology development and mentor the rising generation. Besides enjoying her college classes, she enjoys spending time with friends, having good conversations, and listening to music.


Nonmember Student, Undergrad, Grad, Fellow
Member Student, Post-Doc, Fellow