The Magician Brainwave
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Neuroscientists Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde are the founders of the exciting new discipline of NeuroMagic and authors of Sleights of Mind. Here they convince the recipient of the 2011 Society of American Magicians' Magician of the Year award, Joshua Jay, to allow them to study his techniques for tricking the brain.
"There is no such thing as real magic, but magicians come impressively close. And this childlike sense of wonder is an important part of existence. Albert Einstein said it well: 'The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.'" – Joshua Jay
About the Speakers
Joshua Jay is the recipient of the 2011 Society of American Magicians' Magician of the Year award. He is also a former world champion sleight of hand artist, crowned at the World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas. Mr. Jay has performed and lectured in over 60 countries and has appeared on every major US television network, most recently Good Morning America and The Today Show. His book, MAGIC: The Complete Course, is a best-seller in the world of magic and has been reprinted in five languages. When not touring the globe, Jay resides within walking distance of the Rubin Museum.
Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde are laboratory directors at the Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) in Phoenix, Arizona, where they study various aspects of visual, sensory and cognitive neuroscience. They are also members of the Academy of Magical Arts (aka The Magic Castle in Hollywood), the Magic Circle (UK), the Society of American Magicians, and the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Their shared column on the neuroscience of illusions on ScientificAmerican.com gets hundreds of thousands of hits every month. One of these contributions is the most downloaded article in sciam.com history. SciAm recently published a special issue of Scientific American: MIND (summer of 2010) dedicated completely to the authors previous and ongoing contributions on illusion. Stephen and Susana are founding board members of the Neural Correlate Society, and Susana serves as its Executive Chair. NCS hosts the annual “Best Illusion of the Year Contest.” The contest’s website maintains an archive of visual illusions and their explanations for a broad audience. Their academic publication credits include contributions to Nature, Nature Neuroscience, Neuron, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, and they have each authored over 50 academic publications.
Image courtesy of the artist
About Brainwave: Illusion
The Buddha said that everything is illusion. What did he mean by that? This sixth edition of Brainwave will enlist the aid of neuroscientists to help us understand how the perception of our world is shaped by the surprising adaptability of our brains. Brainwave includes talks, special film screenings followed by discussions, interactive workshops, and much more!
Presenting Sponsor of Brainwave 2013