University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1873
JournalPeerJ
Volume2016
Issue4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2016

Abstract

Magicians use several techniques to deceive their audiences, including, for example, the misdirection of attention and verbal suggestion. We explored another potential stratagem, namely the relaxation of attention. Participants watched a video of a highly skilled magician whilst having their eye-blinks recorded. The timing of spontaneous eye-blinks was highly synchronized across participants. In addition, the synchronized blinks frequency occurred immediately after a seemingly impossible feat, and often coincided with actions that the magician wanted to conceal from the audience. Given that blinking is associated with the relaxation of attention, these findings suggest that blinking plays an important role in the perception of magic, and that magicians may utilize blinking and the relaxation of attention to hide certain secret actions.

Notes

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed.

ID: 10177315