Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Scientists Scrutinize Derren Brown and Others

A piece entitle "Magic Tricks Reveal Inner Workings of the Brain" reviewed yesterday's edition of the scientific journal, Trends in Cognitive Sciences. Psychologists David Rensink and David Kuhn believe that successful illusionists know more about the human mind than does modern science.

Rensink and Kuhn, therefore, have begun studying famous modern magicians. Several other articles today suggest that the psychologists are studying illusionists like Derren Brown (See UK Press Association, NewsLite, and Journal Live). I have not read the Trends in Cognitive Sciences piece, though, so I do not know whether it specifically references Derren.

Be sure to read the Wired article, which describes the following methods used by illusionists:

1. Physical misdirection
2. Psychological misdirection
3. Optical Illusion
4. Cognitive Illusion
5. Physical force and mental force

In other news, a new post on the LA Times blog has good things to say about Derren Brown's youtube clips.

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