Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals about Our Brains

Front Cover
This is a unique and fascinating look at the relationship between magic, the brain, and everyday life. What can magic tell us about ourselves and how we communicate in 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 arts shed 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 to psychology and education - for good and for ill.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
1
4 stars
6
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
1 star
1

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - oscillate_wildly - LibraryThing

Absolutely fascinating look at the ways your brain constructs your perception of reality, and the ways that magic illuminates and manipulates them. Extremely interesting and highly readable. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bke - LibraryThing

Great book, easy read, neuro-scientists use stage magic (illusions) to explain how the brain perceives (and often mis-perceives) reality. SPOILER ALEART: The secrets behind many tricks are revealed ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2011)

Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde (husband and wife) are laboratory directors at the Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) in Phoenix, Arizona. Their research has appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times, New Scientist and Wired magazine. Sandra Blakeslee is a science correspondent at the New York Times.

Bibliographic information