A team of researchers boldly claims in a newly published paper that scientists should rely on magic tricks to better understand animal intelligence and perception.
The concept makes a bit of sense when you think that animals and humans alike can be fooled by the very same illusion.
Magic tricks are very entertaining if you are into that sort of stuff.
However, they make some people uncomfortable because being tricked often feels like someone entering your brain and taking advantage of some cognitive vulnerabilities, almost like a hack.
That is what magicians do, with their quick hands, distractions and illusions. The human brain is far from perfect, which is why we get tricked by such maneuvers.
A recent Science: Perspectives article suggests that many species of animals get tricked by such deceptions, which is good, according to the authors of the article, as far as science’s interests go.
They took that one step further by encouraging scientists to use magic to study animal behavior, perception, and more!
The authors of the study wrote:
“The psychology of magic offers the scientific community a powerful methodological tool for testing the perceptive blind spots and cognitive roadblocks in diverse [species].”
“Studying whether animals can be deceived by the same magic effects that deceive humans can offer a window into the cognitive parallels and variances in attention, perception, and mental time travel,” they added.
Believe it or not, the idea is not so far-fetched as it might sound.
That concept gained some popularity over the last ten years, as scientists experiment increasingly with specific tricks when working with animals.