Advances in Human-Computer Interaction

Subliminal Communication in Human-Computer Interaction

Publishing date
01 Jan 2011
Submission deadline
01 Jul 2010

Lead Editor

1Institute for Pervasive Computing, Johannes Kepler University, 4040 Linz, Austria

2University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg, 6850 Dornbirn, Austria

3Department of Broadcasting Telecommunications and Mass Media, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA

4Department for Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Multimedia, Harrow School of Computer Science, University of Westminster, London, UK

Subliminal Communication in Human-Computer Interaction


Human- and computer-based interactions are ubiquitous in our everyday lives–everything from our mobiles, iPods, to a variety of computer systems creates serious cognitive demands when switching from one to the next. When used simultaneously, extra cognitive demands are placed on us and the likelihood of success is dependent upon our ability to apportion attention to multiple tasks simultaneously. To alleviate the cognitive load associated with interacting with varied computing-based devices, common UIs and modes of operation should be implemented, significantly reducing the amount of information we must store and recall. In addition, subtle cues could be emitted from the device to assist us during our interactions, prompting us toward the appropriate action required to effectively complete a task. These cues could be delivered in a variety of (communication channels), for instance, visual or auditory cues could be provided according to the specific nature of the current activity.

In order to implement these features, UIs must be provided with the means to detect the nature of the current interaction set, provide the subliminal cues across appropriate channels, and evaluate their success. This approach would benefit from a significant collaborative effort from a range of disciplines: engineering, neuroscience, computer science, psychophysiology, and related fields. The result of this approach provides exciting challenges which will significantly impact society at large, making significant contributions toward a more natural, convenient, and even relaxing future human-computer interface. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Compatibility of subliminal information transmission with other demands and conditions in the field of HCI
  • Limits of reproducibility
  • Influence in interaction with further explicit channels
  • Impact of subliminally delivered information on the cognitive load
  • Subliminally delivered information and the level of distraction
  • Subliminal interfaces for the automotive domain (head-up displays, vibro-tactile transducers embedded into the seat)
  • Basic characteristics of subliminally delivered information (reachable bandwidth, natural bounds, complexity of information, speed of perception)
  • Potential of subliminal cues to guide a person to the right course of action or to a specific emotional state
  • Hardware components, that is, interactive smart rooms, games with dynamic UIs
  • Analysis of subliminal processes, that is, implicit interaction/cognition, subliminal messaging, unconscious emotions

Before submission authors should carefully read over the journal's Author Guidelines, which are located at Prospective authors should submit an electronic copy of their complete manuscript through the journal Manuscript Tracking System at, according to the following timetable:

Advances in Human-Computer Interaction
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Acceptance rate11%
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Acceptance to publication18 days
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