A special event with the European Skeptics Congress

Gustav Khun

Friday, September 11 2015 at 7:30PM

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Goldsmiths Students' Union
Dixon Road
New Cross
SE14 6NW

Gustav Khun

What's the talk about?

Magic is one of the oldest art forms, and for centuries magicians have created illusions of the impossible. Some have used these illusions as demonstrations of supernatural powers. However, advances in psychology and neuroscience offer new insights into why our minds are so easily deceived. I am a magician and psychologist with an interest in researching some of the mechanisms involved in magic. Instead of relying on supernatural powers, magicians have developed powerful psychological principle to distort our perception and thoughts.

In this talk we will explore some of the principles used by magicians to distort your perception. For example, we will look at how magicians use misdirection to manipulate your attention and thereby prevent you from noticing things even though they might be right in front of your eyes. Alternatively, magicians may manipulate your expectations about the world and thus bias the way you perceive objects and can even make you see things that aren’t necessarily there. At first sight, our proneness to being fooled by conjuring tricks could be interpreted as a weakness of the human mind. However, contrary to this popular belief, I will demonstrate that these “errors” in fact reveal the complexity of visual perception and highlight the ingenuity of the human mind.

Dr Gustav Kuhn worked as a professional magician and it was his interest in deception and illusions that sparked a curiosity about the human mind. Gustav is a senior lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London, and one of the leading researchers in the science of magic.

This meeting is in 'The Stretch' in Goldsmith College's Students Union on Friday September 11th starting at 19.30. Being a Skeptics in the Pub event, the atmosphere will be informal and there will of course be a bar!

Please note that this event is in addition to our normal monthly meetings, and is not in our usual venue!

This is an additional event to the main European Skeptics Congress that delegates and non-delegates may attend, tickets for each costing only £5. You may pay at the door but it is best to purchase tickets in advance. To do this or to obtain further information on payment please click here to register on the European Skeptics Congress website.