Sleights of Mind by Stephen L. Macknik
What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals about Our Everyday Deceptions

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"This book doesn't just promise to change the way you think about sleight of hand and David Copperfield—it will also change the way you think about the mind." —Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Decide and Proust Was A Neuroscientist

Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde, the founders of the exciting new discipline of neuromagic, have convinced some of the world's greatest magicians to allow scientists to study their techniques for tricking the brain. This book is the result of the authors' yearlong, world-wide exploration of magic and how its principles apply to our behavior. Magic tricks fool us because humans have hardwired processes of attention and awareness that are hackable—a good magician uses your mind's own intrinsic properties against you in a form of mental jujitsu.

Now magic can reveal how our brains work in everyday situations. For instance, if you've ever bought 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. The implications of neuromagic go beyond illuminating our behavior; early research points to new approaches for everything from the diagnosis of autism to marketing techniques and education. Sleights of Mind makes neuroscience fun and accessible by unveiling the key connections between magic and the mind.


About Stephen L. Macknik

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Stephen L. Macknik, Ph.D., is Director of the Laboratory of Behavioral Neurophysiology at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. Susana Martinez-Conde, Ph.D., is Director of the Laboratory of Visual Neuroscience at BNI. Sandra Blakeslee is a regular contributor to "Science Times" at The New York Times who specializes in the brain sciences, and the author of several books.
Published November 9, 2010 by Henry Holt and Co.. 304 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Humor & Entertainment, Nature & Wildlife, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Not so much the psychological principles, though the authors explore some of those as well, but the neural correlates: “Magic tricks work because humans have a hardwired process of attention and awareness that is hackable.” Macknik and Martinez-Conde paint the picture of a trick as it appears on ...

| Read Full Review of Sleights of Mind: What the Ne...

The Bookbag

Other excellent popular science books include The Language Instinct: The New Science of Language and Mind by Steven Pinker, In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind by Eric R Kandel and Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness by Richard H Thaler and Cass R...

Jan 10 2011 | Read Full Review of Sleights of Mind: What the Ne...

they are playing tricks And we don't know how the tricks work.

Jan 31 2011 | Read Full Review of Sleights of Mind: What the Ne...

Science News

(In fact, the authors provide a detailed recipe for a Jell-O brain.) By tricking readers into having fun learning neuroscience, Martinez-Conde and Macknik bring the newly minted field of “neuromagic” to center stage.

Oct 22 2010 | Read Full Review of Sleights of Mind: What the Ne...

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