What can magic reveal about the brain

Kuhn, Gustav and Thomas, Cyril. 2021. What can magic reveal about the brain. In: George Koob and Sergio Della Sala, eds. Encyclopedia of Behavioral Neuroscience. 2nd Edition. Amsterdam: Elsevier, pp. 597-604. ISBN 9780128196410 [Book Section]

No full text available

Abstract or Description

The art of magic relies on tricking our brains into experiencing the impossible. Years of performance experience has allowed magicians to refine and perfect their deceptive techniques, and scientists have now started to investigate these techniques to help uncover some of the mysteries of the human brain. The Science of Magic has become a field of its own right, and huge advances have been made in furthering our understanding why these illusions work. We review the latest scientific research on magic and misdirection and explore what these deceptive techniques tells us about perception, memory and reasoning.

Item Type:

Book Section

Identification Number (DOI):



Magic, Misdirection, Illusion, Deception, Attention, Perception, Memory, Reasoning, Consciousness, free will, meta-knowledge

Related URLs:

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



1 January 2020Accepted
17 September 2021Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

25 Feb 2020 10:31

Last Modified:

22 Nov 2021 14:55



Edit Record Edit Record (login required)