Why Neuroscience and Magic Go Together
May 10, 2011
"Wizards have taken advantage of limited mental capacity," said Susana Martinez-Conde, who has coordinated the conference with Stephen Macknik after years of working alongside many of these magicians individually. "Our brain has a size and limited resources," he explains, "and must make decisions and shortcuts." It is for this economy of resources that our mind is full of holes and continuity where perhaps there is not, or make interpretations that may not be entirely correct, but that we use to get by. "We live surrounded by illusions," said Professor Peter Tse, one of the world's greatest experts in this field. In his view, these visual illusions are failure to show that everything we see is a construct of the brain. Determined to prove it, Tse projects an image that exposes to the audience for long seconds. "Has anyone noticed any change?" He asks. No one has appreciated at all, despite that it is a public "trained." A minute later, when I explained, we see that a window of the drawing has vanished from our sight, but at a slower speed so that our brain has not been able to register the change at the conscious level. The brain fills gaps, you lose the details because all that remains on the periphery is blurred and distracted with a song, a sound or an emotion. When the magician makes us laugh, for example, low attention momentarily and leaves us more vulnerable to deception for a few seconds. It also builds a false continuity between them and other events, although the changes readily apparent.