Magicology: Casting a spell on the mind

Perception is not about capturing a full picture of reality, but taking snapshots of the world and making the rest up. ... Information captured by the retina takes about 100 milliseconds to reach the brain. To compensate for this lag, the brain predicts what the world will look like in the near future and acts on this prediction rather than the real information at its disposal. This is useful in real-world situations such as driving a car, but it also gives magicians an opening to exploit. ... During a trick, a magician will often describe what he has just done in a way that manipulates people's recollection of it.

2008-12-24

 magic perception attention reality humour illusion eye vision brain bug prediction psychology mind control trick false memory advertisement politics crime wizard

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