The results suggest a “bottom-up” decision-making process, in which the ventral pallidum is part of a circuit that first weighs the reward and decides, then interacts with the higher-level, conscious regions later, if at all, Dr. Frith said.
Scientists have spent years trying to pinpoint the exact neural regions that support conscious awareness, so far in vain. But there’s little doubt it involves the prefrontal cortex, the thin outer layer of brain tissue behind the forehead, and experiments like this one show that it can be one of the last neural areas to know when a decision is made.
This bottom-up order makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. The subcortical areas of the brain evolved first and would have had to help individuals fight, flee and scavenge well before conscious, distinctly human layers were added later in evolutionary history.
The article claims priming works by the subconscious brain taking its clues from the surroundings, activating goals or motives that people already have. That Derren Brown - Subliminal Advertising video (http://www.crazyontap.com/topic.php?TopicId=20858)
still seems a long shot to me.