Sleights of Mind

Sleights of Mind
Author: Stephen Macknik,Susana Martinez-Conde,Sandra Blakeslee
Publsiher: Henry Holt and Company
Total Pages: 304
Release: 2010-11-09
Genre: Science
ISBN: 1429951087

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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.

Sleights of Mind

Sleights of Mind
Author: Sandra Blakeslee,Stephen L. Macknik,Susana Martinez-Conde
Publsiher: Profile Books
Total Pages: 304
Release: 2011-02-03
Genre: Psychology
ISBN: 9781847652959

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What can magic tell us about ourselves and our daily lives? If you subtly change the subject during an uncomfortable conversation, did you know you're using attentional 'misdirection', a core technique of magic? And if you've ever bought an expensive item you'd sworn never to buy, you were probably unaware that the salesperson was, like an accomplished magician, a master at creating the 'illusion of choice'. Leading neuroscientists Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde meet with magicians from all over the world to explain how the magician's art sheds light on consciousness, memory, attention, and belief. As the founders of the new discipline of NeuroMagic, they combine cutting-edge scientific research with startling insights into the tricks of the magic trade. By understanding how magic manipulates the processes in our brains, we can better understand how we work - in fields from law and education to marketing, health and psychology - for good and for ill.

Sleights of Mind

Sleights of Mind
Author: Stephen L. Macknik,Susana Martinez-Conde,Sandra Blakeslee
Publsiher: Faber & Faber
Total Pages: 291
Release: 2012-02
Genre: Deception
ISBN: 1846683904

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What can magic tell us about ourselves and our daily lives? If you subtly change the subject during an uncomfortable conversation, did you know you're using attentional 'misdirection', a core technique of magic? And if you've ever bought an expensive item you'd sworn never to buy, you were probably unaware that the salesperson was, like an accomplished magician, a master at creating the 'illusion of choice'. Leading neuroscientists Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde meet with magicians from all over the world to explain how the magician's art sheds light on consciousness, memory, attention, and belief. As the founders of the new discipline of NeuroMagic, they combine cutting-edge scientific research with startling insights into the tricks of the magic trade. By understanding how magic manipulates the processes in our brains, we can better understand how we work - in fields from law and education to marketing, health and psychology - for good and for ill.

Champions of Illusion

Champions of Illusion
Author: Susana Martinez-Conde,Stephen Macknik
Publsiher: Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Total Pages: 176
Release: 2017-10-24
Genre: Medical
ISBN: 9780374718398

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A full-color celebration of stunning visual illusions and the science behind them In Champions of Illusion, Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik present a smorgasbord of mystifying images, many selected from their Best Illusion of the Year Contest. Whether it’s false motion, tricks of perspective, or shifting colors, Champions of Illusion is packed with adventures in visual perception. If you have ever found yourself face-to-face with an utterly bewildering illusion, you know the powerful effect such images have on the mind. The question we often ask ourselves is, How is that possible? Martinez-Conde and Macknik, who study the intersection of neuroscience, illusions, and stage magic, explain just why we think we see the things we see. The Best Illusion of the Year Contest draws entries from vision scientists, artists, magicians, and mathematicians bent on creating today’s most beguiling illusions. Featuring the contest’s most bizarre effects and unbelievable mind tricks, along with classic illusions and illuminating descriptions of what is actually going on in your brain when you are deceived by visuals on the page, Champions of Illusion is an electrifying mix of science and magic that you will not soon forget.

How We Decide

How We Decide
Author: Jonah Lehrer
Publsiher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Total Pages: 256
Release: 2010-01-14
Genre: Science
ISBN: 9780547347486

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The first book to use the unexpected discoveries of neuroscience to help us make the best decisions Since Plato, philosophers have described the decision-making process as either rational or emotional: we carefully deliberate, or we “blink” and go with our gut. But as scientists break open the mind’s black box with the latest tools of neuroscience, they’re discovering that this is not how the mind works. Our best decisions are a finely tuned blend of both feeling and reason—and the precise mix depends on the situation. When buying a house, for example, it’s best to let our unconscious mull over the many variables. But when we’re picking a stock, intuition often leads us astray. The trick is to determine when to use the different parts of the brain, and to do this, we need to think harder (and smarter) about how we think. Jonah Lehrer arms us with the tools we need, drawing on cutting-edge research as well as the real-world experiences of a wide range of “deciders”—from airplane pilots and hedge fund investors to serial killers and poker players. Lehrer shows how people are taking advantage of the new science to make better television shows, win more football games, and improve military intelligence. His goal is to answer two questions that are of interest to just about anyone, from CEOs to firefighters: How does the human mind make decisions? And how can we make those decisions better?

Fooling Houdini

Fooling Houdini
Author: Alex Stone
Publsiher: Bond Street Books
Total Pages: 320
Release: 2012-06-19
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 9780307368218

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An exploration of the world of magic that teaches the reader many tricks--including how better to understand the real world. Alex Stone--journalist and part-time conjurer--is here to amaze you. But first he had to amaze his fellow magicians. Fooling Houdini is his fascinating, revealing, and nailbiting account of his attempt to win the 23rd World Championships of Magic, the "Magic Olympics," the largest and most prestigious competition of its kind. Alex Stone managed to qualify for entry and began preparing to astonish people who astonish others for a living. It didn't help his nerves that he was placed on the bill straight after Canadian magician Shawn Farquhar, winner of more magic competitions than anyone in history. Stone's preparations and participation provide his readers with in-depth exploration of the world of magic, and magic's meaning. He spills many professional secrets, arguing that what is important is to ask questions about what lies behind the tricks: how the mind perceives the world and parses everyday experience, about how the mind works--and why sometimes it doesn't, about why people need to believe. As we become more attuned to the limits of our own perception, we become better at distinguishing reality from illusion, at reading the angles and decoding the fine print, he says. We gain intuition and understanding into how people behave. We even learn ways to influence this behavior. This makes us less susceptible to all manner of deception. It is to gain and maintain this sixth sense that Alex Stone--a schoolboy prestidigitator--has continued performing magic well into adulthood. In Fooling Houdini he takes us into that other world, populated by truly astounding characters, and leaves us with a heightened sense of awareness about the supposedly real world.

Visual Perception Part 1

Visual Perception Part 1
Author: Susana Martinez-Conde,S. Macknik,Maria M. Martinez,Jose-Manuel Alonso,Peter U. Tse
Publsiher: Elsevier
Total Pages: 340
Release: 2006-10-05
Genre: Psychology
ISBN: 0080466087

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This book presents a collection of articles reflecting state-of-the-art research in visual perception, specifically concentrating on neural correlates of perception. Each section addresses one of the main topics in vision research today. Volume 1 Fundamentals of Vision: Low and Mid-Level Processes in Perception covers topics from receptive field analyses to shape perception and eye movements. A variety of methodological approaches are represented, including single-neuron recordings, fMRI and optical imaging, psychophysics, eye movement characterization and computational modelling. The contributions will provide the reader with a valuable perspective on the current status of vision research, and more importantly, with critical insight into future research directions and the discoveries yet to come. · Provides a detailed breakdown of the neural and psychophysical bases of Perception · Presents never-before-published original discoveries · Includes multiple full-color illustrations

Experiencing the Impossible

Experiencing the Impossible
Author: Gustav Kuhn
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 296
Release: 2019-03-12
Genre: Psychology
ISBN: 9780262351522

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How the scientific study of magic reveals intriguing—and often unsettling—insights into the mysteries of the human mind. What do we see when we watch a magician pull a rabbit out of a hat or read a person's mind? We are captivated by an illusion; we applaud the fact that we have been fooled. Why do we enjoy experiencing what seems clearly impossible, or at least beyond our powers of explanation? In Experiencing the Impossible, Gustav Kuhn examines the psychological processes that underpin our experience of magic. Kuhn, a psychologist and a magician, reveals the intriguing—and often unsettling—insights into the human mind that the scientific study of magic provides. Magic, Kuhn explains, creates a cognitive conflict between what we believe to be true (for example, a rabbit could not be in that hat) and what we experience (a rabbit has just come out of that hat!). Drawing on the latest psychological, neurological, and philosophical research, he suggests that misdirection is at the heart of all magic tricks, and he offers a scientific theory of misdirection. He explores, among other topics, our propensity for magical thinking, the malleability of our perceptual experiences, forgetting and misremembering, free will and mind control, and how magic is applied outside entertaiment—the use of illusion in human-computer interaction, politics, warfare, and elsewhere. We may be surprised to learn how little of the world we actually perceive, how little we can trust what we see and remember, and how little we are in charge of our thoughts and actions. Exploring magic, Kuhn illuminates the complex—and almost magical—mechanisms underlying our daily activities.

The Self Illusion

The Self Illusion
Author: Bruce Hood
Publsiher: Oxford University Press
Total Pages: 368
Release: 2012-06-15
Genre: Psychology
ISBN: 9780199969890

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Most of us believe that we are unique and coherent individuals, but are we? The idea of a "self" has existed ever since humans began to live in groups and become sociable. Those who embrace the self as an individual in the West, or a member of the group in the East, feel fulfilled and purposeful. This experience seems incredibly real but a wealth of recent scientific evidence reveals that this notion of the independent, coherent self is an illusion - it is not what it seems. Reality as we perceive it is not something that objectively exists, but something that our brains construct from moment to moment, interpreting, summarizing, and substituting information along the way. Like a science fiction movie, we are living in a matrix that is our mind. In The Self Illusion, Dr. Bruce Hood reveals how the self emerges during childhood and how the architecture of the developing brain enables us to become social animals dependent on each other. He explains that self is the product of our relationships and interactions with others, and it exists only in our brains. The author argues, however, that though the self is an illusion, it is one that humans cannot live without. But things are changing as our technology develops and shapes society. The social bonds and relationships that used to take time and effort to form are now undergoing a revolution as we start to put our self online. Social networking activities such as blogging, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter threaten to change the way we behave. Social networking is fast becoming socialization on steroids. The speed and ease at which we can form alliances and relationships is outstripping the same selection processes that shaped our self prior to the internet era. This book ventures into unchartered territory to explain how the idea of the self will never be the same again in the online social world.

Power Up Your Brain

Power Up Your Brain
Author: David Perlmutter, M.D.,Alberto Villoldo
Publsiher: Hay House, Inc
Total Pages: 254
Release: 2012-02-01
Genre: Health & Fitness
ISBN: 9781401928186

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The quest for enlightenment has occupied mankind for millennia. And from the depictions we’ve see—monks sitting on meditation cushions, nuns kneeling in prayer, shamans communing with the universe—it seems that this elusive state is reserved for a chosen few. But now, neuroscientist David Perlmutter and medical anthropologist and shaman Alberto Villoldo have come together to explore the commonalities between their specialties with the aim of making enlightenment possible for anyone. Joining the long-separated worlds of science and spirit, Perlmutter explores the exciting phenomena of neurogenesis and mitochondrial health, while Villoldo brings his vast knowledge of shamanic and spiritual practices. Drawing the most powerful tools from each discipline, Perlmutter and Villoldo guide you through this groundbreaking, five-week program to help you overcome toxic emotions and awaken the power of your higher brain. Power Up Your Brain will show you how to: • reduce your risk of devastating diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease,and Parkinson’s; • overcome painful memories and break unhealthy emotional and behavioralpatterns; and • gain powerful clarity of thought to experience inner peace, creativity, andenlightenment—all without the use of prescription drugs! The nutritional advice, dietary supplements, fasting, and physical exercise outlined will not only help repair parts of your brain that have been affected by stress but also create a fertile environment to grow new brain cells and turn on the genes responsible for longevity, improved immunity, and enhanced brain function. And the shamanic practices, meditation, and visualizations will help bring online brain regions that allow for peace, compassion, innovation, and joy to arise naturally. Following the Power Up Your Brain program will help you clear your mind and healyour body; and open you up to experience the inner peace, vast insight, and extraordinary creativity that define the experience of enlightenment.

Human Intelligence Counterterrorism and National Leadership

Human Intelligence  Counterterrorism  and National Leadership
Author: Gary Berntsen
Publsiher: Potomac Books, Inc.
Total Pages: 154
Release: 2008-10-31
Genre: Political Science
ISBN: 9781597972543

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The next president of the United States faces innumerable complex problems, from a possible prolonged recession to climate change. An immediate difficulty for the president will be the global conflict between the West and Islamic jihadists and state sponsors of terrorism. The creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission notwithstanding, the administration needs to be armed and ready to tackle much more in the areas of intelligence and counterterrorism. The president can and must assume a hands-on, informed leadership role if the United States wants to make progress in the war on terror. Gary Berntsen has written this book as a guide for an incoming president and White House staff so that they may master current human intelligence and counterterrorism operations. After reading its highly specific recommendations and policy prescriptions, the president and his or her staff will be able to draft a First Directive for the leadership of the intelligence and national security communities outlining how the administration wants those communities to proceed and to defend the nation's interests. Human Intelligence, Counterterrorism, and National Leadership will be of interest to legislators, policymakers, and anyone concerned about intelligence and terrorism policy. With a foreword by Seth G. Jones, a political scientist at the RAND Corporation and Adjunct Professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University. He is the author of In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan and The Rise of European Security Cooperation.

Hardwired Behavior

Hardwired Behavior
Author: Laurence Tancredi
Publsiher: Cambridge University Press
Total Pages: 226
Release: 2005-09-19
Genre: Medical
ISBN: 0521860016

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Argues that the concepts of social morality and individual responsibility begin in the brain.

Folk Illusions

Folk Illusions
Author: K. Brandon Barker,Claiborne Rice
Publsiher: Indiana University Press
Total Pages: 264
Release: 2019-04-22
Genre: Social Science
ISBN: 9780253041128

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Wiggling a pencil so that it looks like it is made of rubber, "stealing" your niece's nose, and listening for the sounds of the ocean in a conch shell– these are examples of folk illusions, youthful play forms that trade on perceptual oddities. In this groundbreaking study, K. Brandon Barker and Claiborne Rice argue that these easily overlooked instances of children's folklore offer an important avenue for studying perception and cognition in the contexts of social and embodied development. Folk illusions are traditionalized verbal and/or physical actions that are performed with the intention of creating a phantasm for one or more participants. Using a cross-disciplinary approach that combines the ethnographic methods of folklore with the empirical data of neuroscience, cognitive science, and psychology, Barker and Rice catalogue over eighty discrete folk illusions while exploring the complexities of embodied perception. Taken together as a genre of folklore, folk illusions show that people, starting from a young age, possess an awareness of the illusory tendencies of perceptual processes as well as an awareness that the distinctions between illusion and reality are always communally formed.

The Body Has a Mind of Its Own

The Body Has a Mind of Its Own
Author: Sandra Blakeslee,Matthew Blakeslee
Publsiher: Random House
Total Pages: 240
Release: 2008-09-09
Genre: Psychology
ISBN: 9781588368126

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In this compelling, cutting-edge book, two generations of science writers explore the exciting science of “body maps” in the brain–and how startling new discoveries about the mind-body connection can change and improve our lives. Why do you still feel fat after losing weight? What makes video games so addictive? How can “practicing” your favorite sport in your imagination improve your game? The answers can be found in body maps. Just as road maps represent interconnections across the landscape, your many body maps represent all aspects of your bodily self, inside and out. In concert, they create your physical and emotional awareness and your sense of being a whole, feeling self in a larger social world. Moreover, your body maps are profoundly elastic. Your self doesn’t begin and end with your physical body but extends into the space around you. This space morphs every time you put on or take off clothes, ride a bike, or wield a tool. When you drive a car, your personal body space grows to envelop it. When you play a video game, your body maps automatically track and emulate the actions of your character onscreen. When you watch a scary movie, your body maps put dread in your stomach and send chills down your spine. If your body maps fall out of sync, you may have an out-of-body experience or see auras around other people. The Body Has a Mind of Its Own explains how you can tap into the power of body maps to do almost anything better–whether it is playing tennis, strumming a guitar, riding a horse, dancing a waltz, empathizing with a friend, raising children, or coping with stress. The story of body maps goes even further, providing a fresh look at the causes of anorexia, bulimia, obsessive plastic surgery, and the notorious golfer’s curse “the yips.” It lends insights into culture, language, music, parenting, emotions, chronic pain, and more. Filled with illustrations, wonderful anecdotes, and even parlor tricks that you can use to reconfigure your body sense, The Body Has a Mind of Its Own will change the way you think–about the way you think. “The Blakeslees have taken the latest and most exciting finds from brain research and have made them accessible. This is how science writing should always be.” –Michael S. Gazzaniga, Ph.D., author of The Ethical Brain “Through a stream of fascinating and entertaining examples, Sandra Blakeslee and Matthew Blakeslee illustrate how our perception of ourselves, and indeed the world, is not fixed but is surprisingly fluid and easily modified. They have created the best book ever written about how our sense of ‘self’ emerges from the motley collection of neurons we call the brain.” –Jeff Hawkins, co-author of On Intelligence “The Blakeslees have taken the latest and most exciting finds from brain research and have made them accessible. This is how science writing should always be.” –Michael S. Gazzaniga, Ph.D., author of The Ethical Brain “A marvelous book. In the last ten years there has been a paradigm shift in understanding the brain and how its various specialized regions respond to environmental challenges. In addition to providing a brilliant overview of recent revolutionary discoveries on body image and brain plasticity, the book is sprinkled with numerous insights.” –V. S. Ramachandran, M.D., director, Center for Brain and Cognition, University of California, San Diego

Neuroscience and Psychology of Meditation in Everyday Life

Neuroscience and Psychology of Meditation in Everyday Life
Author: Dusana Dorjee
Publsiher: Routledge
Total Pages: 196
Release: 2017-07-20
Genre: Psychology
ISBN: 9781315461953

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Neuroscience and Psychology of Meditation in Everyday Life addresses essential and timely questions about the research and practice of meditation as a path to realization of human potential for health and well-being. Balancing practical content and scientific theory, the book discusses long-term effects of six meditation practices: mindfulness, compassion, visualization-based meditation techniques, dream yoga, insight-based meditation and abiding in the existential ground of experience. Each chapter provides advice on how to embed these techniques into everyday activities, together with considerations about underlying changes in the mind and brain based on latest research evidence. This book is essential reading for professionals applying meditation-based techniques in their work and researchers in the emerging field of contemplative science. The book will also be of value to practitioners of meditation seeking to further their practice and understand associated changes in the mind and brain.