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Download Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals about Our Everyday Deceptions Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals about Our Everyday Deceptions, by Stephen L. Macknik, Susana Martinez-Conde Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (393 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephen L. Macknik, Susana Martinez-Conde Narrator: Lloyd Jame Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde, the founders of the exciting new discipline of neuromagic, have convinced some of the world’s greatest magicians to allow scientists to study their techniques for tricking the brain. This book is the result of the authors’ yearlong, worldwide exploration of magic and how its principles apply to our behavior. Magic tricks fool us because humans have hardwired processes of attention and awareness that are hackable—a good magician uses your mind’s own intrinsic properties against you in a form of mental jujitsu.

Now magic can reveal how our brains work in everyday situations. For instance, if you’ve ever bought an expensive item you’d sworn you’d never buy, the salesperson was probably a master at creating the “illusion of choice,” a core technique of magic. The implications of neuromagic go beyond illuminating our behavior; early research points to new approaches for everything from the diagnosis of autism to marketing techniques and education. Sleights of Mind makes neuroscience fun and accessible by unveiling the key connections between magic and the mind.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In Sleights of Mind, authors Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde persistently remind us that the human mind is a bad data-taking device. And it’s this fact that enables the science of magic to exist at all.”

    Neil deGrasse Tyson

  • “Magic is the place where our senses and beliefs fail us in magnificent ways. In this exciting book Stephen, Susana, and Sandra explore what magic and illusions can teach us about our fallible human nature—coming up with novel and fascinating observations.”

    Dan Ariely, author of Predictability Irrational

  • “I’ve long wished that there was a book that explained the art of magic from the point of view of cognitive neuroscience. Magic is a goldmine of information about the brain, as well as a source of fascination to laypeople. This is the book we’ve all been waiting for.”

    Steven Pinker PhD, author of The Stuff of Thought

  • “This is a highly original book. Science and magic have much in common. They both take seemingly inexplicable events and provide elegantly simple answers that enthrall the observer. The authors have done an admirable job in exploring this idea and also suggest ways in which the two disciplines can cross fertilize each other.”

    VS Ramachandran MD PhD, author of Phantoms in the Brain

  • “Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde’s Sleights of Mind gives non-magicians a real up-close look at the true secrets of magic. They are revealing the real knowledge jealously guarded by all great performers…I know my fellow magicians are all going to be as jazzed as I am to read about how sophisticated magical techniques and state-of-the-art brain science combine.”

    Mac King, headlining magician, Harrah’s Las Vegas

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Marshall Kettner | 2/17/2014

    " Scientific explanations behind how magicians trick us and our brains. Some fascinating science and spoilers as well to some magic tricks. But you are forewarned, so you can skip those bits. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jeremy | 2/14/2014

    " Very interesting read. Will certainly entertain while causing you to think. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by William Axtell | 2/12/2014

    " This book is terrific! Through it's format it kills two birds with one stone. It teaches you about the awesome principals and techniques which magicians use in constructing their tricks, illustrating them with actual examples, before explaining how they work in the head. This is pretty advanced science going on here, at the cutting edge of new research, and is very exciting to read about. Also, it is really nice to know just how they do that trick! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Alison | 2/10/2014

    " Fascinating and entertaining insight into both the world of magic and of neuroscience. "

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About the Author

Stephen L. Macknik, PhD, is director of the Laboratory of Behavioral Neurophysiology at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona.