After receiving a magic kit from his dad when he was 5 years old, Alex Stone became hooked on illusions and the mysterious nature of the magic scene. In his new book, "Fooling Houdini: Mentalists, Math Geeks and the Hidden Powers of the Mind," Stone takes readers on his journey to the World Championship of Magic, but also looks at the science of illusion made popular by magicians.
Stone looks at the psychology, neuroscience and physics behind trickery. How does the mind perceive it? What does it tell us about human nature?
From Scientific American:
As Stone stresses repeatedly, the trick is only part of the experience. Equally as--if not more--important is the performance, the whole package in all its artistry and psychology. Does your awe at a magician's performance lessen with knowledge of technique--or does it instead grow deeper, with a new appreciation for the difficulties and subtleties of the craft? Does finding a trick out spoil the act, or does it enhance the pleasure of the reading--or the watching, as the case may be?
What's more, even if we know each principle, there is always the barrier of perception itself: when it comes down to it, our eyes are not that quick. No matter what we know, there remains a disconnect between what's in our mind and what our vision can discern.
We'll air our interview with Alex Stone Monday on The Daily Circuit.
VIDEO: Stone discusses "Fooling Houdini"
VIDEO: Cup and ball trick, revealed
VIDEO: The Flashed Face Distortion Effect