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Stronger misdirection in curved than in straight motion.

Abstract

Illusions developed by magicians are a rich and largely untapped source of insight into perception and cognition. Here we show that curved motion, as employed by the magician in a classic sleight of hand trick, generates stronger misdirection than rectilinear motion, and that this difference can be explained by the differential engagement of the smooth pursuit and the saccadic oculomotor systems. This research exemplifies how the magician's intuitive understanding of the spectator's mindset can surpass that of the cognitive scientist in specific instances, and that observation-based behavioral insights developed by magicians are worthy of quantitative investigation in the neuroscience laboratory.

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    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    22125518

    Citation

    TY - JOUR T1 - Stronger misdirection in curved than in straight motion. AU - Otero-Millan,Jorge, AU - Macknik,Stephen L, AU - Robbins,Apollo, AU - Martinez-Conde,Susana, Y1 - 2011/11/21/ PY - 2011/4/10/received PY - 2011/10/24/accepted PY - 2011/11/21/epublish PY - 2011/11/30/entrez PY - 2011/11/30/pubmed PY - 2011/11/30/medline KW - eye movements KW - illusion KW - magic KW - saccades KW - sleight of hand KW - smooth pursuit SP - 133 EP - 133 JF - Frontiers in human neuroscience JO - Front Hum Neurosci VL - 5 N2 - Illusions developed by magicians are a rich and largely untapped source of insight into perception and cognition. Here we show that curved motion, as employed by the magician in a classic sleight of hand trick, generates stronger misdirection than rectilinear motion, and that this difference can be explained by the differential engagement of the smooth pursuit and the saccadic oculomotor systems. This research exemplifies how the magician's intuitive understanding of the spectator's mindset can surpass that of the cognitive scientist in specific instances, and that observation-based behavioral insights developed by magicians are worthy of quantitative investigation in the neuroscience laboratory. SN - 1662-5161 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22125518/Stronger_misdirection_in_curved_than_in_straight_motion_ L2 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2011.00133 ER -