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The Invisible Gorilla

Review: The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us, by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons

Before reading farther, watch this video if you haven’t already seen it:

The Invisible Gorilla provides an interesting counterpoint to Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink. While Gladwell sought to show that our minds can perform remarkable feats of judgment, often without conscious processing, Chabris and Simons show us how many ways our human brains can fail. If that sounds depressing, it’s not really. The Invisible Gorilla seeks to expose some of the limitations of our brains in areas like observation and memory; with this understanding, we can adopt strategies to compensate for them. […]

By |June 21st, 2010|

Neuroscience and Magic

Magic tricks have entertained people for centuries, if not millenia. They startle and surprise the audience because the trick generally accomplishes something that appears to be impossible – a ball disappears when tossed in the air, a tiger materializes in an empty cage, and so on. Most magic tricks exploit limitations in human perception: when we are watching the magician’s right hand, we think we know what his left hand is doing but more than likely our brains are simply filling in the blanks for us. Surprisingly, until recently scientists have largely ignored the insights into perception and cognition offered by magic. It turns out that understanding why magic tricks work may help both neuroscientists and even marketers. […]

By |August 3rd, 2008|