Proximity + Movements + Internal Dialogue = Successful Pickpocketing

In this year’s annual “Dialogue Between Neuroscience and Society” symposium, Eric Mead and Apollo Robbins disseminated the practice of deception and misdirection created by magical tricks and illusions. Eric Mead typically prevents memories from becoming encoded  to execute most of his tricks. As a classic example, the “pick a card, remember your card, and I’ll find it” magic trick entails directing attention to the volunteer to “uncode” the fact that the magician has had complete control of the cards throughout the trick. He also illustrated the ease of implanting false memories and/or reducing memory recall and compared his line of work to the seminal work of Elizabeth Loftus who demonstrated the ease of supplanting false memories  into children.

Apollo Robbins discussed the ease of pickpocketing by means of misdirecting attention. Through the exploitation of personal space, nonlinear movements, and directed dialogue, pickpocketing is relatively simple. The volunteer had his metal-clasp wristwatch and mobile phone removed in the process of Robbins’s coin appear/disappear/re-appear trick.  Perhaps we can better decode their tricks andillusions now knowing this information…

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One Response

  1. Cool. I wish I could watch the videos…

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