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Magic Studies

Over the past decade empirical studies have increasingly yoked magic and cognitive science [1-7]. Magic offers an unusual lens on applied cognition: magicians fool our perceptual and sensory systems and scientists are curious to find out the underlying mechanisms [8]. Early accounts involving joint efforts by scholars and magicians have found their way into prestigious scientific journals [9-11] as well as popular science venues [12-16]. Thus, cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists are beginning to appreciate the study of magic as a vehicle to realizing rigorous investigations of real world events with practical implications onto applied cognition [17].

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  1. Lamont, P. and R. Wiseman, Magic in Theory: An Introduction to the Theoretical and Psychological Elements of Conjuring. 2005: University Of Hertfordshire Press.
  2. Parris, B.A., G. Kuhn, and T.L. Hodgson, Imaging the impossible: An fMRI investigation into the neural substrates of cause and effect violations in magic tricks. 2009.
  3. Wiseman, R. and E. Greening, 'It's still bending': Verbal suggestion and alleged psychokinetic ability. British Journal of Psychology, 2005. 96(1): p. 115-128.
  4. Hergovich, A., The effect of pseudo-psychic demonstrations as dependent on belief in paranormal phenomena and suggestibility. Personality and Individual Differences, 2004. 36(2): p. 365-380.
  5. Tatler, B.W. and G. Kuhn, Don’t look now: The magic of misdirection. Eye movement research: Insights into mind and brain (pp. 697Á714). Oxford, UK: Elsevier, 2007.
  6. Kuhn, G. and M.F. Land, There's more to magic than meets the eye. Current Biology, 2006. 16(22): p. 950-951.
  7. Kuhn, G., et al., Misdirection in magic: Implications for the relationship between eye gaze and attention. Visual Cognition, 2008. 16(2): p. 391-405.
  8. Kuhn, G., Cogn t ve llus ons. New Horizons in the Neuroscience of Consciousness, 2010: p. 139.
  9. Macknik, S.L., et al., Attention and awareness in stage magic: turning tricks into research. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2008. 9(11): p. 871-879.
  10. Macknik, S.L. and S. Martinez-Conde, Real magic: future studies of magic should be grounded in neuroscience. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2009. 10(3): p. 241.
  11. Kuhn, G., A.A. Amlani, and R.A. Rensink, Towards a science of magic. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2008.
  12. Johnson, G., et al., Sleights of mind. New York Times, 2007.
  13. Lehrer, J., Magic and the brain: Teller reveals the neuroscience of illusion. Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/17-05/ff_neuroscienceofmagic, 2009.
  14. Martinez-Conde, S. and S.L. Macknik, Magic and the Brain. Scientific American, 2008. 299(6): p. 72-79.
  15. Martinez-Conde, S. and S.L. Macknik, Science in culture: Mind tricks. Nature, 2007. 448(7152): p. 414.
  16. Macknik, S.L., S. Martinez-Conde, and S. Blakeslee, Mind over Magic? Scientific American Mind, 2010. 21(5): p. 22-29.
  17. Macknik, S.L., S. Martinez-Conde, and S. Blakeslee, Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals about Our Everyday Deceptions. 2010: Henry Holt & Company.

James Randi and Amir Raz

May 9, 2012