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MAGIC: HOW THE SENSE OF VISION WORKS

Written by Peter L. Bass

How do the magicians make an object disappear with a snap of their finger? How did they make the object disappear right in front of the audience with just a single snap? Scientifically speaking, our brain has already registered how the objects are used, and we know that it cannot disappear into the thin air, but how did the magician do this?

Magic has been through centuries performed as an art, and ever since magicians did not fail to amuse and shock the audience through their made impossible through illusions.

While most of the tricks and illusions of the magicians remain precious secrets, some of the magic Nazis or simply audience studied about how magic works to gain insights into how and why the minds of the people are easily deceived. Magic allows people to experience the impossible. It really creates a conflict between the things that can happen and the things that can simply be experienced. While some magicians would like to deceive the audience that they possess true magical powers, the true secret lies in clever techniques that exploit limitations in the way the people’s brains work. And this is how magic tricks work, magician, plays with the limitation of how our brain works- most specifically the vision.

Among our senses, our visual sense is what we mostly rely on. Without our visual sense, our behavior and thoughts are greatly affected. Thus, with our vision, we can see and believe what we see. However, the reliability of our sense of sight is not as strong as we thought. It can be easily deceived with our perception and illusion.

According to an anonymous researcher, visual illusion occurs when there is a mismatch between the perceptual experience and the true state of the world. We are often surprised by how these illusions deceive us but pretty much all our perception is just an illusion. Evidently, we think that our eyes capture beautiful and truthful images but in reality, these visual experiences are just merely a result from a complex brain processes that produces clever predictions or estimates about what the world is alike, or what we perceive as what we see. And as with this clever predictions, it is never a hundred percent correct which by the use of these errors, the magicians have utilized and mastered.

The visual situations we have experienced is related to the misconceptions we saw from the details we already know of, and the process of these numerous amounts of information is strictly and obsessively expensive, or let me rephrase this; if a person wants to process a handful of visual information, then he or she needs a larger brain capacity to have a clear and reliable results. So, humans as we are, our brains do not completely engulf all the details of everything, instead, it develops strategies that are extremely efficient that it allows us to prioritize things we want and we don’t want to see and process.

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Peter L. Bass

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