ECVP 2011 Abstract

Cite as:
Carbon C-C, Hergovich A, 2011, "Using computer-animated magic tricks as a promising experimental paradigm for investigating perceptual processes" Perception 40 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 169

Using computer-animated magic tricks as a promising experimental paradigm for investigating perceptual processes

C-C Carbon, A Hergovich

Following Gustav Kuhn’s inspiring framework of using magicians’ acts as a source of insight into cognitive sciences [eg Kuhn et al 2008, Trends in Cognitive Sciences 12(9) 349–354], Hergovich, Groebl and Carbon (in press, Perception) used a computer-animated version of a classic magic trick as an outlet for testing the psychophysics of combined movement trajectories. The so-called “paddle move” is a standard technique in magic consisting of a combined rotating and tilting movement. The specific usage of computer animating a magic trick allows the careful control of the essential parameters of underlying perceptual processes. For instance, for the present experiment, we focused on the mutual speed parameters of both movements that allow the “magic” effect to emerge: A sudden change of the tilted object. On the basis of the empirical data from this experiment, the present paper discusses how vision science can benefit from the general usage of such computer animation (a) to reveal new perceptual effects which have not been described in a scientific framework so far and (b) to test and measure the exact parameters that let such effects emerge. A final conclusion will target typical areas of perceptual psychology which can mainly gain knowledge by using such computer animations.

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[Publisher's note: The abstracts in this year's ECVP supplement have been published with virtually no copy editing by Pion, thus the standards of grammar and style may not match those of regular Perception articles.]