The neuroscience of magic


13 Responses to “The neuroscience of magic”

  1. ymendel says:

    I once saw a video of someone showing tricks like that and explaining how they work, especially the coin stuff and the “miser’s dream”. Part of that involved a metal tub that coins get tossed into, making a noise that could then be produced on its own to fool the audience into thinking more coins are getting tossed in. I wish I could find that video again, and I think the main reason I can’t is it’s not Penn & Teller doing it and I can’t remember who it was.

  2. taras says:

    ymendel – Are you sure it wasn’t this video with Teller?

  3. Bevatron Repairman says:

    The father of one of my son’s classmates is a professional magician in San Francisco and makes a quite comfortable living at it.  I once had him show a simple coin trick to my son (one I can pull off technically, but without any grace or charm) and stood behind him to see what he was doing and even though I knew what he was about to do and when, I still followed the wrong hand every single time.  The psychology of it all is deeply imbedded in the human brain.

  4. zachstronaut says:

    I love Penn & Teller on Letterman.  My favorite appearance involved a rabbit and a woodchipper… the ending is amazing, but the ending after the ending was even better.

    Fantastic article.  The most significant point to me was “If you are given a choice, you believe you have acted freely.”  I have been reading more on this very point in a wonderful book about game design by Jesse Schell.

  5. Pedantic Douchebag says:

    Hearing Teller speak in the lobby of the theater after a P&T show in Vegas is one of the highlights of my life.

  6. dasanjos says:

    For me, the most impressive is:
    “7. If you are given a choice, you believe you have acted freely. This is one of the darkest of all psychological secrets.”

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