The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Science of Magic » » The science of deception (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Doug Peters
View Profile
Special user
I have a life, so I only have
585 Posts

Profile of Doug Peters
How about a thread for how scientific principles could be used to improve the art of deception.
These needn't be practical tomorrow - technology is likely going to advance some more in the future.

For example,
- multiple high-speed cameras could measure flashes and angles objectively.
- light-meters and visual acuity studies could determine the conditions in which threads are truly "invisible"
- "suspicion centers of the brain" could be identified using existing neural technology -- imagine having the "audience suspicion index" available to a performer!
- in principle, the "condition" of a deck of cards could be automatically determined (i.e., time to buy a new deck)
"if you have any answers, it's time to ask harder questions!"
Al Angello
View Profile
Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

Profile of Al Angello
Doug
I think that is a great idea, and I can't wait until I read the results of your research project.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
edh
View Profile
Inner circle
4698 Posts

Profile of edh
I also think that's a great idea. I not up to snuff on science although I do like to watch a lot of the science shows on TV.

That would be a very interesting thread. At least it would be to me.
Magic is a vanishing art.
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27032 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Is this for real?

Okay, start by getting two video cameras (or more) and set the first up from the back of the venue to watch the performance

Then set up others to watch the audience.

Then after the show... watch and learn.

After the initial shock wears off there will be plenty to discuss.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Al Angello
View Profile
Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

Profile of Al Angello
Jonathan
Don't discourage Doug, I think the results of his research project will be great information for all of us to learn from. Please keep us informed of your progress Doug.
Al
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27032 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Al,

Doug is suggesting some possible avenues for others to do research.

I suggested something to do now and get some useful discussions going.

J
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Al Angello
View Profile
Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

Profile of Al Angello
Well that leaves me out. I'm a performer that uses the findings of others for entertainment purposes.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27032 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
It's amazing what one can learn by watching the audience.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Doug Peters
View Profile
Special user
I have a life, so I only have
585 Posts

Profile of Doug Peters
Jonathan's suggestion, while practical, useful, and valuable, isn't exactly "scientific".
And I'm afraid that until I get a substantial research grant, the thread is, as Jonathan suggests, one of possible avenues of research only.

I recently attended a conference in which one of the keynote speakers (Sophie Scott) described research on the differentially active regions of the brain in the presence of subtly different acoustic stimuli. It would be fascinating to explore the brain's differential reaction to shock, juggling, humor, and magic.
"if you have any answers, it's time to ask harder questions!"
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27032 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Doug, how were these things measured? I keep waiting for tiny fMRI availability.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Doug Peters
View Profile
Special user
I have a life, so I only have
585 Posts

Profile of Doug Peters
Dr. Scott reported results using Positron Emmision Tomography (PET) as well as fMRI.

One of the most interesting results was that a "learning center" would differentially trigger when subjects were becoming familiar with mechanically-altered speech. I wonder if there might be a "surprise center" indicating the perception of magic.
"if you have any answers, it's time to ask harder questions!"
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27032 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Doug, I suspect that there are many recognizable patterns in brain activity and that good experimental design would incorporate some basic NLP procedures to elicit those inner activities.

Here is my hypothesis: What we call "magic" may have a latent component of surprise but at the time of the magic effect being revealed, a stronger relation to immediate access to beliefs and expectations. Formally, when what you perceive does not match what you believe and you have a presumed causal agent, you get magic. In non-neurological terms, it's a meta-experience, how you feel about what you perceive given what you believe.

And yes to lots more fMRI work. Smile How invasive is that equipment?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Doug Peters
View Profile
Special user
I have a life, so I only have
585 Posts

Profile of Doug Peters
Can't comment on invasivity (to coin a word), but I would question the need for a "presumed causal agent" (but we've had that conversation before Smile )
"if you have any answers, it's time to ask harder questions!"
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27032 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
I so totally want to watch fMRI data as someone accesses a belief or learns something new or changes how they feel about something.

And yes, let's leave off the causal stuff (ok to leave it at theatrical?) so we can work in agreement. Smile
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Doug Peters
View Profile
Special user
I have a life, so I only have
585 Posts

Profile of Doug Peters
How about an fMRI of enjoyment? And then compare the enjoyment of children with the enjoyment of adults, healthy and disturbed. Surely some government would be willing to grant sufficient funds for such important research! Smile
"if you have any answers, it's time to ask harder questions!"
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Science of Magic » » The science of deception (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.17 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL