The Science of Magic
We all know that the fact that “the hand is faster than the eye” is the secret to successful magic shows. What are other factors that make magic work? Alex Stone will discuss the limits of perception, cognitive biases and illusions, the psychology of secrecy and deception, the science of persuasion, and the many astounding connections between magic and science. Through a lively mix of cutting-edge research and jaw-dropping tricks, Stone pulls back the curtain to reveal a host of startling revelations about how the mind works—and why, sometimes, it doesn’t.
Alex Stone, a Knight-Wallace Fellow at UM this year, is a science journalist, lecturer, and magician. He is the author of Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks and the Hidden Powers of the Mind—a book about the world of magic and its ties to psychology, neuroscience, physics, mathematics, gambling, and crime. Fooling Houdini was one of Amazon’s ten best nonfiction books of 2012 and has been featured nationally in print, radio, and television outlets. Stone’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Harper’s, Discover, Science, The Huffington Post, The New Republic, and Psychology Today, among other places.