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The Neural Magic of Hypnotic Suggestion

A new review of the scientific literature studying hypnosis, in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience, by Oakley and Halligan, discusses the potential for hypnosis to provide insights into brain mechanisms involved in attention, motor control, pain perception, beliefs and volition and also to produce informative analogues of clinical conditions.

July 29, 2013 — Stephen L. Macknik

The Best Illusions of 2014

Review the 2014 Illusion Contest Winners before the upcoming 2015 contest winners are announced!

May 7, 2015 — Susana Martinez-Conde

Star Wars Day: May the Fourth Be with You

16-year-old Paul Vermeesch recreate the impossible structures in M.C. Escher's Relativity--but with a Star Wars theme--in LEGO.

May 2, 2015 — Susana Martinez-Conde

Do Dogs Fall for Magic Tricks?

Animals can be deceived, but do animals feel wonderment, awe, or sense that they have experienced the impossible?

September 11, 2014 — Susana Martinez-Conde

The Art of the Brick

There is an intersection of art, science and engineering in the works of Lego artist Nathan Sawaya, whose "Art of the Brick" traveling show I visited last weekend at the Discovery Times Square Museum in New York (the exhibition closed Sunday).

September 16, 2014 — Susana Martinez-Conde

Neuroscience in Fiction: Crux, by Ramez Naam

Crux (Angry Robot Books) is an outstanding speculative fiction adventure. It combines the very highest level of neuroscientific reality with plausible neuroscience fiction that is very well thought through.

August 9, 2013 — Stephen L. Macknik

New Year's Eve and the Meaning of Life

Some scientists conclude that even though we age continuously, we ponder the passage of time more at some arbitrary points in our lives than others.

December 31, 2014 — Susana Martinez-Conde

A New Reverspective

One of the very strange effects of reverse perspective is that the images seem to follow you as you pass by them. As if, while you are observing them, the pictures are watching you back.

January 25, 2015 — Stephen L. Macknik
Daniel Suarez's Influx Is Super Fluxing Bitchin'!

Daniel Suarez's Influx Is Super Fluxing Bitchin'!

I loved the book, and couldn't--wouldn't--didn't--set it down. With Influx, Daniel Suarez becomes the master, and Michael Crichton should be honored by the comparison.

February 28, 2014 — Stephen L. Macknik
Its Loves Illusions I Recall

Its Loves Illusions I Recall

Gianni Sarcone's illusions are beautiful and evocative of our most cherished emotion.

February 14, 2014 — Stephen L. Macknik
Tis the season to be flossing: beware of dentistry illusions

Tis the season to be flossing: beware of dentistry illusions

Researchers recommend that dentists and other health practitioners receive training in illusion awareness (my words, not theirs), so that they may counteract these and related perceptual effects.

December 26, 2013 — Susana Martinez-Conde