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A submodality is a structural element of a sensory impression, such as its perceived location, distance, size, or other quality. The submodalities are the smallest building blocks of our internal representation. The communication model, explains that our internal representations are constructed from the 5 main modalities VAKOG (*) + our internal dialog.

Suppose you think of a particular memory or a future image.
The image can be in black and white or color.
The image can move, like a film or it may be a still image.
The image can be panoramic or framed like a painting.
These are examples of visual submodalities.

Structure vs. significance

The main modalities determine the structure of the internal representation.
The submodalities determine the significance of the internal representation.

If the submodalities of a memory changes, the perception of that memory shall also change. However, the memory and the associated feeling of the memory are not determined by the contents of that memory, but by the way we have stored this memory. This does not only apply for memories but also for our future images. Every thought pattern has its own unique structure.

You can use the NLP submodalities to change the way you feel about things.

Submodalities organize and give meaning to our internal representation. By changing the submodalities of an internal representation, the meaning of the internal representation can change.

Examples of visual, auditory and kinesthetic submodalities are:

Visual Auditory Kinesthetic
Black-white or color Location Location
Near or far Directional Size
Bright or dull Internal or external Intensity
Associated or dissociated Volume Regularity
Frame or panoramic Tempo Movement
Movie or still Pitch Internal or external

Digital and analogue submodalities

We distinguish digital and analogue submodalities.
Digital submodalities are like on/off switches, they are either on or off. (e.g. The visual submodalitie movie/still).
In analogue submodalities the intensity can vary as in the visual submodalities brightness or auditory submodalities volume. (like a dimmer).

The driver

The driver (driving submodality) is the critical submodality of an internal representation. Contrast analysis is a NLP technique to find the driver.
Changing the driver will cause several submodalities to change automatically. It is interesting to know which submodality is the driver because it has the greatest effect on the change in the significance of an internal representation.
The visual submodalities location and associated/ dissociated (See article perceptual positions) are often drivers.

(*)VAKOG - The 5 main (sensory specific) modalities: Visual (images), Auditory (sounds), Kinesthetic (feelings), Olfactory (smell), Gustatory (taste).

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