Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals About Our Everyday Deceptions

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9781400149902: Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals About Our Everyday Deceptions
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Have you ever wondered how a magician saws a woman in half? Or makes coins materialize out of thin air? Or reads your mind? Magic tricks work because humans have a hardwired process of attention and awareness that is hackable. A good magician uses your mind's intrinsic properties against you in a form of mental jujitsu, to fool you every time, even when you know full well that you are being tricked.

Now Stephen L. Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde, the founders of the exciting new discipline of neuromagic, have convinced some of the world's greatest magicians to reveal their techniques for tricking the brain. This fascinating book is the result of the authors' worldwide exploration of magic and how its ancient principles can now be explained using the latest discoveries of cognitive neuroscience.

The secrets behind magic tricks reveal how your brain works not just when watching a magic show but in everyday situations. For instance, if you've ever found yourself paying for an expensive item you'd sworn you'd never buy, the salesperson was probably a master at creating the "illusion of choice," a core technique of magic. By popping the hood on your brain as you are suckered in by sleights of hand, Macknik and Martinez-Conde unveil the key connections between magic and the mind, and along the way make neuroscience more exciting and accessible than ever before.

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One of the best books I've read on how the brain actually works ... And the back story, of two boffins trying to become magicians - and succeeding! - is great too (William Leith Evening Standard)

A terrific read, combining science, neurology, and magic - not an easy trick, but the authors have done a brilliant job of putting a mirror up to ourselves. I loved it. (Joe Navarro, author of 'What Every Body is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-reading People')

Magic is the place where our senses and beliefs fail us in magnificent ways. In this exciting book Stephen, Susana, and Sandra explore what magic and illusions can teach us about our fallible human nature -- coming up with novel and fascinating observations. (Dan Ariely, author of 'Predictability Irrational')

Sleights of Mind has discovered why magic works - by exploring how magicians test the limits of human senses to create magic effects. It's fantastic -- probably the most important magic book I have ever read. I love it. (Kevin McMahon, Artistic Director, Edinburgh International Magic Festival)

An entertaining introduction to the psychology of illusion (Richard Wiseman Focus)

Underlines how our perception of reality - far from being a reliable resource - is at best a series of shortcuts and presumptions shaped by evolution (Sunday Business Post)

Brilliantly simple and wonderfully engaging (Sunday Times)

Book Description:

A unique and fascinating look at the relationship between magic, the brain, and everyday life.

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