Navigation Links
Barrow researchers use magic for discoveries
Date:5/22/2012

(Phoenix, AZ May 22, 2012) -- Researchers at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center have unveiled how and why the public perceives some magic tricks in recent studies that could have real-world implications in military tactics, marketing and sports.

Susana Martinez-Conde, PhD, of Barrow's Laboratory of Visual Neuroscience, and Stephen Macknik, PhD, of Barrow's Laboratory of Behavioral Neurophysiology are well known for their research into magic and illusions. Their most recent original research projects, published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, offer additional insight into perception and cognition.

One of the studies was initiated by professional magician Apollo Robbins, who believed that audience members directed their attention differently depending on the type of hand motion used. Robbins believed that if he moved his hand in a straight line while performing a trick the audience would focus on the beginning and end points of the motion, but not in between. In contrast, he believed if he moved his hand in a curved motion the audience would follow his hand's trajectory from beginning to end.

By studying the eye movements of individuals as they watched Robbins perform, Barrow researchers confirmed Robbins' theory. Perhaps more importantly, they also found that the different types of hand motion triggered two different types of eye movement. The researchers discovered that curved motion engaged smooth pursuit eye movements (in which the eye follows a moving object smoothly), whereas straight motion led to saccadic eye movements (in which the eye jumps from one point of interest to another).

"Not only is this discovery important for magicians, but the knowledge that curved motion attracts attention differently from straight motion could have wide-reaching implications for example, in predator-prey evasion techniques in the natural world, military tactics, sports strategies and marketing," says Martinez-Conde. This finding is believed to be the first discovery in the neuroscientific literature initiated by a magician, rather than a scientist.

In another study, the researchers worked with professional magician Mac King to investigate magicians' use of social cues like the position of their gaze to misdirect observers.

They studied a popular coin-vanishing trick, in which King tosses a coin up and down in his right hand before "tossing" it to his left hand, where it subsequently disappears. In reality, the magician only simulates tossing the coin to the left hand, an implied motion that essentially tricks the neurons into responding as they would have if the coin had actually been thrown.

The Barrow researchers discovered that social misdirection does not always help magic. By presenting two different videos of King one in which the audience could see his face and another in which his face was hidden they found that social misdirection did not play a role in this particular trick.

"We wondered if the observer's perception of magic was going to be different if they could see the magician's head and eye position. To our surprise, it didn't matter," says Martinez-Conde. "This indicates that social misdirection in magic is more complicated than previously believed, and not necessary for the perception of all magic tricks."


'/>"/>

Contact: Lynne Reaves
lynne.reaves@dignityhealth.org
602-406-4734
St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Barrow researcher launches depression study
2. Deep brain stimulation research expands at Barrow
3. Researchers map all the fragile sites of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiaes genome
4. UH Case Medical Center researchers publish promising findings for advanced cervical cancer
5. Researchers discover new way to kill pediatric brain tumors
6. Researchers Who Discovered First Genes for Stuttering will Present Findings to the National Stuttering Association
7. Researchers create drug to keep tumor growth switched off
8. Urine protein test might help diagnose kidney damage from lupus, UT Southwestern researchers find
9. GUMC researchers say flower power may reduce resistance to breast cancer drug tamoxifen
10. Clemson researchers develop hands-free texting application
11. Researchers find biomarkers in saliva for detection of early-stage pancreatic cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... ... The NALA, a boutique marketing agency, is proud to announce that it has ... organization providing financial and emotional support to families of children with cancer living in ... hosted a Thanksgiving food drive that resulted in four boxes of donated food. ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... Cary, NC (PRWEB) , ... December 06, 2016 ... ... cancer research charity, is thrilled to formally announce its Not a Moment to ... Moment to Lose will rally supporters dedicated to declaring victory over cancer. The ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... 06, 2016 , ... GrekTek LLC, ( http://www.grektek.com ) an ... http://kck.st/2g3a1so ) for the HealthyWatch, a new device to help patients manage their ... watch while sharing these events with caregivers in real time. , ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... Specialty Technical Publishers (STP) ... Audit Protocol Consortium (IAPC) EHS audit protocol for Great Britain . Leading ... of their EHS regulatory obligations and rapidly collect, share, archive, and export audit ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... ... What: Shriners Hospitals for Children, with the help of Dimension Data, will bring ... monitor and web-enabled camera. Santa visits with children through Dimension Data’s program to connect ... is where the video connection to the North Pole will stream. Much like children ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/6/2016)... , Dec. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - InMed Pharmaceuticals, ... today on its R&D program in the use ... pulmonary disease (COPD). In June, 2015 InMed initiated ... to identify the targets and potential active compounds ... COPD. Subsequently, with in vitro assays using human ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... WARSAW, Ind. , Dec. 5, 2016  Zimmer ... "Company") today announced that, pursuant to its previously-announced ... securities identified in the table below (collectively, the ... Notes were validly tendered and not validly withdrawn ... York City time, today, December 5, ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... 5, 2016 Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... presentation of preclinical and manufacturing data that support SB-525, its ... Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) ... from December 3-6, 2016. "We have developed an ... we believe is highly competitive, and we remain on track ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: