It is well-known that neuroscientists study the brain, whereas psychologists and cognitive scientists study the mind. There are emerging areas like cognitive neuroscience which attempt to bridge the mind-brain gap, but it is true that mind and brain have largely been kept separate. This is unfortunate because many aspects of neuroscience explore the neural basis of mind. In recent years, an area of cognition that has attracted much attention is the "neuroscience of magic". A magician relies on sleight of hand, and a masterful ability to deflect the attention of the audience or occupy the audience in some meaningless direction while pulling off a trick. Here I will talk about the way in which attention and inattention can be manipulated and studied, and how magicians may have exploited these abilities. I will then talk about the regions of the brain where the processing of attention is manipulated. These regions are presumably responsible for the subtle yet mysterious illusions and sleight of hand performed by magicians.
Speaker: Professor Rama Ratnam
Date: Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Time: 4:00 PM Onwards