A unique and fascinating look at the relationship between magic, the brain, and everyday life.
What can magic tell us about ourselves and our daily lives? If you subtly change the subject during an uncomfortable conversation, did you know you're using attentional 'misdirection', a core technique of magic? And if you've ever bought an expensive item you'd sworn never to buy, you were probably unaware that the salesperson was, like an accomplished magician, a master at creating the 'illusion of choice'.
In Sleights of Mind, leading neuroscientists Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde meet with magicians from all over the world to explain how the magician's art sheds light on consciousness, memory, attention, and belief. As the founders of the new discipline of NeuroMagic, they combine cutting-edge scientific research with startling insights into the tricks of the magic trade, showing how the world's greatest masters of deception turn the brain's faculties against itself. By understanding how magic manipulates the processes in our brains, we can better understand how we work - in fields from law and education to marketing, health and psychology - for good and for ill.
Stephen L. Macknik, Ph.D., is Director of the Laboratory of Behavioral Neurophysiology at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona.
Susana Martinez-Conde, Ph.D., is Director of the Laboratory of Visual Neuroscience at BNI.
Sandra Blakeslee is a regular contributor to Science Times at The New York Times who specializes in the brain sciences, and the author of several books.
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