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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » The Neuroscience of Magic- Joshua Jay (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Ihop
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Glen Spey, NY
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An article in Scientific American magazine with a video of Joshua Jay explaining Cups & Balls.
The article and video are worth looking at.
It looks at how the brain sees magic and where the eye is looking.
They mention that "attention" cannot be multitasked.
See:
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/illu......f-magic/
Ihor
funsway
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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Their book offers even more insights but this will reach a wider audience.

I appreciate their saying that "knowing how a trick is done" does not effect how the brain is misdirected

Methinks that knowing that a person is magician and plans to use guile to astonish is a form of misdirection itself in that it leads to an expectation of the viewer that they will not be fooled.

The brain focusing "not being fooled" cannot pay attention to what is actually happening, and even a minor change of method can enhance the illusion.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
HarryB
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Awesome stuff and in my opinion it cant be said enough. Like all youngsters in magic, I'm studying cups and balls. The beauty of it is that the misdirection is somewhat built into the trick. It's an awesome way to really learn how misdirection happens. The video also drove this point home. IMO it's no fun to watch any effect and try to figure it out while watching. Even though I know how do it I just go with it and I'm fooled at least momentarily.
Jonathan Townsend
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The eye tracking looks impressive... Not quite audience management... but cue the Beethoven.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Ihop
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You're right. It is not audience management but the eye tracking results is valuable information for a magician.
Ihor
Jonathan Townsend
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It would be if the tool gets used to evaluate deceptive strategy.

Here's hoping a two camera setup to review performances becomes available.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Al Schneider
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I am having trouble with some of the conclusions presented in the video.

I do not believe the eye tracking device is producing quality information about deception or observation.

As I understand it, and this could be in error, the business about moving something in an arc is deceptive.
As I see it, moving something in that arc will cause the spectator to question the reality of it.
It is not a natural motion and will flag something wrong in the spectator's mind.

Another factor I distrust is the concept of misdirection being the power in magic.
Misdirection has long been the powerhouse in magic and has not been challenged.
I believe its place in magic is ill advised and is a concept that persists because everyone believes it so.
In my research I see the powerhouse being false assumptions. Then, misdirection is used to support assumptions.
Another factor is that a single assumption is not sufficient to support deception.
For success, two assumptions must be executed in a row. one supporting the other.

This video also does not discuss the idea that when the eye moves, it stops observing.
Look in a mirror and look from one eye to the other, you can't see your eyes move.

In my work, I attempt to keep the eyes focused on the same spot where and when the deception occurs.
This is not a light assertion. I expand a lot of effort to have the eyes of the audience focus on the deception point.
This renders the use of this concept irreverent. At least in the case of this kind of deception which has the most power.
I want my audience to say, "I was looking right at it and the magic happened anyway."

Another factor is the claim some bigger motions cover lesser motions.
Unfortunately, when a bigger motion is used as a cover for some deceptive motion, the audience feels cheated when seeing the result.
They know they were blinded when something sneaky was done.

The real key is where the observer's mind is focused. This often has little relationship with where the eye is focused.
Ergo, eye tracking has little value. My observation is that when a scientist has a cool tool, it is used to explain everything.

Just had to throw this out.
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
funsway
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Quote:
On Dec 26, 2015, Al Schneider wrote:

where the observer's mind is focused.


one could write a new book, if he were so dispossed
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
BeThePlunk
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So glad you're still inclined to participate, Mr. Schneider. Much of my C&B study is based in your teaching, and I appreciate your inclination to parse things into their smallest bits. Thank you.
HarryB
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I was surprised to find the article. It is an interesting read and also explained the phenomenon better for me at least. For those interested, there are also some other studies referenced in the article at the bottom. Here is the link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3221472/
Al Schneider
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I am suspicious of the testing method.
I would feel better about these results if I could see the actual experiment run.
Here is the reason.
No mention was made of the condition of the hand initially holding the coin after the drop was executed.
You can try this yourself.
In a straight motion with the drop, the transferring hand can remain motionless.
My suspicion is that is what was done to keep variables at a minimum.
In that case the eye of the audience would naturally go back to the hand as it is motionless.
That simply looks odd.
In the case of curvilinear motion, the transferring hand would need to move slightly to enable that motion.
I contend that motion of the transferring hand would take the heat off the hand.
Thus its suspicious nature would be lessened.
From what I have seen, the experiment is inconclusive.
As in most scientific endeavors, the conclusions do not present the observations coming to those conclusions.

Recollect a famous experiment about workshop behavior.
In a shop the lights were dimmed to see the effect on the workers.
The result was that the workers output improved.
This was contrary to what the researchers expected and left them confused.
The workers were asked what was going on.
The workers said they noticed they got more attention so they worked harder.

Also I hope you give me credit for scientific experience.
I have a physics degree and have studied the history of science and quantum mechanics most of my life.
For example, it is interesting to note that the ethric structure of the universe stood for 2000 years.
Aristotle presented this concept and was shown recently to be wrong popularized by the Michelson Morley experiment.
The advancement of science is riddled with false conclusions.

To repeat my concern here, I would like to know the disposition of the hand after the transfer.
I suspect that during the experiment, the two different motions resulted in two different hand positions and or motions.
I have found in my work that the disposition of the hand after a transfer is very critical to the success in a false transfer move.

This is why in most magic texts the wisdom is that the transferring hand should immediately reach for something.

sorry for a long post
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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MEH
What is more important is to do your magic so often and so well that all that matters is ENTERTAINING the viewers. Smile
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
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