A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from the School of Psychology, inviting me to attend a specially arranged lecture, given by an external speaker on the 17th of March. The speaker was Dr Gustav Kuhn, of Goldsmiths University of London, and the title read: “Psychology of Magic, what can misdirection tell us about visual attention?”.
I decided to sign up for it with a couple of coursemates, and I gotta say, I was not disappointed!
The lecture opened with a proper magic show, something I absolutely love! After the first moments of sheer amazement, the lecturer proceeded to discuss the history of magic and techniques commonly employed by magicians to take the viewer’s attention away from where the trick is actually taking place. Such distracting stimuli include visual cues, like lighting and similar salient images, face expressions, for instance asking a question to force the viewer to engage in eye-contact, and sounds, like snapping fingers. But as always, the best possible evidence is a practical example, so he performed a magic trick twice in front of us. The first time, without directions, it looked like proper magic, and we were all oblivious as to how he did it! But a few directions from his part were all it took to let us understand where to actually look… and oh my gosh, the answer was so obvious! 😮
It was highly interesting, not to mention entertaining! I love when our department organises this sort of lectures (it’s not the first time!). It’s really amusing, and still so relevant to our course! 🙂
Now I’m finished with coursework for the Term, and I’ll be leaving England next week for Easter break! I really need to rest, but there will be plenty of things to think about: module choices for next year, dissertation topic, and exams…! But for now, I’ll just enjoy the company of my family, friends, and Easter eggs 😉