Review of Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals about Our Brains [Book Review]

Cognitive Neuropsychiatry 16 (5):473-478 (2011)
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Abstract

The book I review, _Sleights of Mind_, aims to illuminate properties of perceptual systems by discussing human susceptibility to magical illusions. I describe how the authors use psychological principles to explain two tricks, spoon bending and the Miser's Dream. I also argue that the book is congenial to the following view of illusions: susceptibility to illusion is the result of evolutionary trade-offs; perceptual systems must make assumptions in order to function at all, but susceptibility to illusion is the byproduct of such assumptions.

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Neil Van Leeuwen
Georgia State University

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