Tuesday, October 2, 2012

MAGIC AND THE BRAIN: HOW MAGICIANS TRICK THE MIND



Published: The Scientific American; scientificamerican.com
Level of Difficulty: *****
Related video: http://www.theinvisiblegorilla.com/videos.html#tryit
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QUESTIONS

1.      Read the story of the trick involving the dress carefully (as far as “The New Science Neuromagic). What are the scientific reasons for the success of this trick? Complete the two sentences below to answer this question.
a.       The brain experiences ………………………….., which ultimately results in ……………………………………..
b.      There is …………………………………….. due to the illumination of the stage.
2.      Is the dress trick a visual illusion, a cognitive illusion or a combination of the two?
________________________________________________________________________
3.      Why are neuroscientists criticized in the text?
________________________________________________________________________
4.      What does the phrase “such techniques” underlined in paragraph 11 refer to?
________________________________________________________________________
5.      Read from the beginning of paragraph 12 to the end of paragraph 16 and classify “misdirection”.  Provide an example wherever possible.
Misdirection
A………………………………
B ………………………………..
          1 ……………………………………………..
          2 ……………………………………………….
           The change
            A ……………………………….
            B ………………………………..
6.      Why do neuroscientists need to know neural and brain mechanisms?
________________________________________________________________________
7.      Read the following two tricks carefully: The disappearing cigarette and the vanishing ball. Now complete the sentence and answer the question that follows
a.       The trick worked thanks to ………………………………………………………………………………….
b.      Why?
8.      What does “such gestures” underlined in paragraph 23 refer to?
________________________________________________________________________
9.      What concepts familiar to magicians were used in the experiment with the pictures of faces?
________________________________________________________________________
10.  Read paragraph 26 carefully and state whether the subjects were aware of the switch and justified their choice anyway or whether they believed they were defending their own choice? How do you know?
________________________________________________________________________
11.  What does “the two kinds of motions” near the end of paragraph 27 refer to?
________________________________________________________________________
12.  Read paragraph 28 carefully and fill in the following outline.
a.       Curved hand motions result in ………………………………….; fast straight motions result in …………………………………………………
b.      Curved hand motions enable the pickpocket to work comfortably because …………………………………………………………………… while fast straight hand motions serve the pickpocket’s purpose because……………………………………………………………………………………….
13.  Read paragraph 30; now state clearly what you think the phrase “make it seem so” refers to.
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14.  What scientific discovery was made as a result of the study carried out by Kuhn, Parris and Hodgson?
________________________________________________________________________
VOCABULARY GUESSING
Look back at the paragraphs stated below and express in your own words what the words and phrases mean / make a sentence / answer the question as required.

P.1. Strain             _________________________________________________________
P.1. Reflaring       _________________________________________________________
P. 3. Appropriate  _________________________________________________________
P.4. Patter             _________________________________________________________
P. 7. Bewildering _________________________________________________________
P.8. Look at the use of the phrase “with all the tools at their disposal”. Now make a sentence of your own with the phrase.
________________________________________________________________________
P.9. Exploit          _________________________________________________________
P.10. Probed         _________________________________________________________
P.17. Would you look up the word “elegant” if you didn’t know it? Justify your answer.
________________________________________________________________________
P.19. Palms it       _________________________________________________________
P.22. Conceal       _________________________________________________________
P.24. Lulled          _________________________________________________________

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