Light piece in The Guardian on the psychology of magic.
“…not content with just enjoying the tricks, psychologists are now using their effects on the mind to work out how we handle the floods of sensory information coming into our brains and process it into a mental picture of the world around us. Magic is a deception, a disruption of that orderly mental picture where things seem to float in mid-air or coins and cards vanish in front of our eyes. Scientists now believe that, by mapping out how our brains are deceived, they could even help to unlock some of the mysteries of consciousness itself.”
The idea of magic unlocking the mysteries of consciousness is a bit far-fetched. Still, if there’s a man for the job, it’s Professor Richard Wiseman, who was the youngest member of The Magic Circle before becoming a professional psychologist.
Bursting the magic bubble
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