Segments in this Video

Automatic Brain (02:24)


Humans are driven by the unconscious mind. A mixed up sentence shows that the brain automatically puts the letters in the correct order. The brain fills in gaps in perception.

Electrochemical Signals Create Perceived Reality (02:24)

Las Vegas magician Apollo Robbins deceives brains with his tricks and consults for security experts. He explains how he takes advantage of the unconscious brain to manipulate perception

Illusion of the Mind (02:32)

Unconscious circuitry in the brain creates a simulation that is perceived as reality. Where a person puts their attention is the only thing humans actively operate. Consciousness only switches on for new or important things.

Brain Area Functions (01:32)

Scientists estimate the unconscious circuits in the brain can simultaneously process 200,000 times more data than the conscious mind which is limited to the cerebral cortex of the brain.

Creating Illusion Through Diversion (02:51)

Magicians help scientists understand how human brains perceive the world. Eye trackers at the Barrow Institute show why tricks that involve curved movements work better than those using straight movements.

The Marshmallow Test (05:10)

One of the most important studies about self-control and motivation was developed in the 1970s at the Bing Nursery School at Stanford University. Viewers see the study in action.

Delay of Consciousness (04:00)

The brain unconsciously analyzes huge amounts of data in milliseconds. Maneuvering in traffic illustrates how this is far more complex than deliberate decisions made by the conscious mind.

Blinded by Expectation (03:12)

Only one percent of what people see is added by sensory organs the rest is filled in by memory. People on the street do not notice when a man they are speaking to is replaced by a different man in similar clothing.

The Gorilla Test (02:38)

The human brain can simultaneously absorb 11 million units of information but it is only consciously aware of 40. Half of the brain is dedicated to processing visual information.

Present Based Brain System (02:58)

The unconscious decides what information is important enough to share with the conscious mind. It navigates the present while the conscious thinks about the past and future.

Distracting the Brain's Gatekeeper (04:17)

A magician is able to take a man's watch without him noticing by distracting him with a coin trick. A replay shows how it was done.

Experience Based Assumptions (02:22)

Every experience leaves an imprint in the unconscious memory. The brain makes judgments about people based on their faces after looking at them for 100 milliseconds.

Meaningful Facial Expressions (03:41)

The right temporal lobe scans faces and makes emotional matches. Female friends need a few milliseconds to unconsciously align movements and gestures with one another which increases empathy and bonding.

Merging Conscious and Subconscious (04:01)

There is rarely a perfect match between perception and reality. A Swedish neurologist has proven that the automatic brain can be fooled using touch and 3-D imagery.

McGurk Effect: Perceptual Phenomenon (02:26)

The most powerful senses are those of touch and balance. Sensory motor systems dominate the visual sense which dominates hearing. Magicians take advantage of this hierarchy of the sense.

The Brain Falling In Love (03:52)

People are more likely to fall in love with people like themselves. Ninety percent of emotional communication is nonverbal. The unconscious registers errors before they happen.

Credits: The Magic of the Unconscious: Automatic Brain (01:10)

Credits: The Magic of the Unconscious: Automatic Brain

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The Magic of the Unconscious: Automatic Brain

Part of the Series : Automatic Brain: How the Unconscious Shapes Our Lives
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



“The brain decides things before we can consciously think about it,” says Allan Snyder, director of the University of Sydney’s Centre for the Mind. “Decisions are almost dictated to us.” In this program, neuroscientists join Las Vegas magicians to explain—and vividly demonstrate—the interplay of unconscious promptings with conscious thought. Delving into the physiological basis of cognition, Snyder and other experts discuss snap judgments, facial recognition, and love at first sight. The video features segments that allow viewers to test their attentiveness with the shell game and the famous “invisible gorilla” experiment. Part of the series The Automatic Brain. (52 minutes)

Length: 53 minutes

Item#: BVL51893

ISBN: 978-1-61753-546-8

Copyright date: ©2011

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.

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