What magic can teach us about our brain

Kathryn Lambe lambeka at TCD.IE
Fri Sep 9 13:03:53 UTC 2016


Thanks for the wonderful article, Mark!

I'm the sister of a professional magician and have been interested for a
long time in the psychological concepts that magicians intuitively
understand in their techniques.

For those interested in further reading, I can recommend "Magic In Theory:
An introduction to the theoretical and psychological elements of conjuring"
by Peter Lamont and Richard Wiseman.
https://www.amazon.com/Magic-Theory-Introduction-Theoretical
-Psychological/dp/1902806506
Chapter three on memory and reconstruction is particularly relevant to our
interests with some good perspectives around top-down and bottom-up
processing in magic tricks.

Thanks again!
Kathryn

Kathryn Lambe
PhD candidate
Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholar
School of Psychology,
Trinity College Dublin


On 7 September 2016 at 02:19, Mark Graber <graber.mark at gmail.com> wrote:

> There is a wonderful story in this weeks Boston Globe on …. magic!
>
> We know that ‘context’ problems are one of the most common cognitive
> factors that leads to diagnostic error.   The Rory Staunton story (missed
> diagnosis of Strep sepsis) illustrated this - his story of fever and
> vomiting led to a diagnosis of viral gastroenteritis because those symptoms
> suggested a GI context.  There may be no better way to study and understand
> context errors than to learn about magic tricks - the illusionist creates a
> context for us that we believe and trust, but that is never what’s really
> happening.  At the least, the very fact that these magic tricks are SO
> convincing should be ample proof of how easily we can be mislead.  Whatever
> is going here has got to be very similar to what happens in the diagnostic
> process when we misinterpret the context of a patient’s problems.  Pat
> Croskerry has a paper that emphasizes this point perfectly:  Context is
> everything.
>
> Mark
>
> Mark L Graber MD FACP
> President, SIDM
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> https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2016/09/01/magic/
> IYE084jKTpuA5mUHmF1xKP/story.html
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-- 

Kathryn Lambe
Tel 086 367 6344






Moderator: David Meyers, Board Member, Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine


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