Lyceum Society February 2023 Meeting
Monday, February 6, 2023
Social Time and Announcements: 11:30 am to 11:45 am
Initial Presentation: 11:45 am to 12:45 pm
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.
Selection of Topic for Next Month's Discussion: 12:45 pm to 1:15 pm
Main Presentation: 1:15 pm to 2:30 pm
Speaker: David J. Haas
Topic: The Discovery of Macromolecular Cryocrystallography
In December 2019 I was asked to record a video on the story of how cryo-cooling protein crystals (in liquid nitrogen) was invented and how these cryo-cooled crystals showed substantially reduced X-ray damage while being analyzed with X-ray diffraction. Note that all protein crystals deteriorated within a few days of analysis at that time – in the 1960s and 1970s.
During my five years of basic research 1965-1970, successful cryo-cooling was accomplished. Michael Rossmann and I published the 1970 paper showing the results, from Michael’s laboratory at Purdue University.
There was no interest in this topic for twenty years. But twenty years later, about 1990, Synchrotron Light Sources had been invented. They produced X-ray beams that were 10 million times more intense than vacuum tubes, and this cryo-cooling technique began to be used worldwide.
With the atomic three-dimensional protein structures, the anti-virals and many other drugs - were developed. These included the HIV anti-virals in 1996 and the Covid-19 vaccines in 2020.
I will discuss how a presentation at Rutgers University (Protein Data Bank April 24, 2019) led to the iBiology Video (December 2019) and the IUCrJ “History of Science” paper (March 2020).
This iBiology presentation is based on the following scientific papers:
The iBiology online program can be found at: https://www.ibiology.org/
The iBiologyproject is described in this published paper:
iBiology: communicating the process of science article at:
David Haas received his BA in Physics and PhD in Biophysics in protein crystallography and molecular biology at the State University of NY at Buffalo. For the next five years, he performed basic research in protein crystallography at several institutions in Europe, Israel and the United States. In 1970, he joined Philips Electronic Instruments in Mt Vernon NY as Principal Scientist for X-ray systems, working on analytical instruments and designing some of the first airport security X-ray systems that were used worldwide during the 1970s. Conceiving the idea of a self-expiring security ID (Visitor badge), David and his wife, Sandra, formed Temtec Inc. which developed and manufactured high-tech visitor and temporary IDs for more than 20 years under the brand name TEMPbadge. Temtec Inc. was sold to Brady Worldwide Corporation in 2002. David & Sandra Haas have more than 100 patents to their credit as well as many technical and scientific publications.
Dr. Haas has published a book by ASIS International entitled: “Personal Identification – Its Modern Development and Security Implications." It reviews the history and reasons for modern personal identification documents such as Passports, National Identity Cards, etc. Dr. Haas has also published a monograph on the development of Electronic Security Screening for Aviation Passenger Screening between 1968-1973.