Childlike Wonder (05:30)
Magician Joshua Jay explains the "theory of astonishment." Children are the hardest audience to fool.
Trizonal Space Warp (07:12)
Neuroscientist Susana Martinez-Conde talks about working with magicians. An illusion is a cognitive perception that does not match the physical world. Understanding the neural basis of magic tricks will lead scientists to further discoveries.
Looking Without Seeing (07:27)
Stereoscopic cues allow human eyes to perceive three dimensions. Illusions take place in memory and attention centers of the brain.
I Know What I Saw (07:59)
The audience views videos demonstrating change blindness. Magic is the conflict between what we see and what we know.
Visual Tests (08:05)
The audience performs a task to measure their awareness. Humans have evolved to separate attention and visual field.
Deceptive Attention (06:07)
Deception has played a role in the evolution of our visual system. Neuroscientist Stephen Macknik measures neurons as they pay attention.
Modeling the Brain (02:05)
Focus activates inhibitory neurons, suppressing distractions. Multi-tasking means switching attention quickly.
Zombie Behaviors (04:41)
Performing magic feels like multitasking. Automatic behavior does not require attentional resources.
Supernatural Occurrences (06:32)
Science and magic use methods to overcome common sense. "The Discoverie of Witchcraft" exposed magicians in the Middle Ages.
Pretending to Throw a Ball (04:45)
People with autism may be hyper-focused or unable to participate in joint attention. Our visual cortex responds to implied motion.
Cognitive Dissonance (07:35)
Magicians are adapting to technological advances. Misdirection works outside the brain's visual system.
Guarding an Empty Safe (05:58)
Scientists are just beginning to understand how emotion and attention interact. The greatest magicians of all time permeated culture.
Applause and Gifts (03:32)
Tibetan Khatas are presented to Martinez-Conde, Jay, and Macknick in gratitude. An audience member wins tickets to Jules Fisher.
Pick a Card (07:13)
Joshua Jay engages the audience in a card trick. Magic looks different in different countries.
Inside the Glass (04:49)
Joshua Jay continues his card trick. He worked with the College of Magic in Cape Town.
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