Neuroscientists are learning new tricks from professional magicians, as they struggle to understand how the brain works. Magicians take advantage of how our nervous systems, including our eyes and sense of touch, are wired to perceive "impossible" illusions (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show). In Live Science.com, Wynne Parry quotes researcher Susana Martinez-Conde as saying, "Scientists have only studied cognitive illusions for a few decades. Magicians have studied them for hundreds, if not thousands, of years."
Magicians manipulate our attention, by subtly directing it to a location AWAY from where the trick is actually is taking place. Parry quotes her husband, neuroscientist Stephen Macknik, as saying, "You don’t see it because the information doesn’t make it to the parts of your brain that are conscious. This is very similar in many ways to what magicians do with misdirection. It’s always interesting to learn more about why this works." We agree: It’s always interesting to learn more about how EVERYTHING works (including meditation!)