The art of magic offers a fascinating insight into the psychology of reality and perception

The magician picks up a coin, conceals it in his hand and, after a magical gesture, it mysteriously disappears, only to reappear from behind your ear. As you watch this performance, you fully understand that objects cannot simply materialise from thin air, yet this is exactly what you have just experienced. Conjuring is one of the oldest forms of entertainment and throughout history, tricksters have amazed audiences by performing illusions of the impossible.

The art of magic has never lost its appeal, and even in our modern lives, which are dominated by science and technology, we are still captivated by experiencing things we believe to be impossible. This universal appeal can be traced back to a deep-rooted psychological drive to explore things we do not understand. Indeed, from an early age, infants are captivated by events that confound their understanding of the world, and the same is true for adults. Most people simply think of magic as just another form of entertainment, but the ancient art of conjuring is now helping scientists uncover some of the mysteries of the human mind.

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