The use of magic tricks as a way of studying the human brain has recently gained traction in the scientific community, with a couple of peer-reviewed articles coming out this month and next. Money quote:

"I think magicians and cognitive neuroscientists are getting at similar questions, but while neuroscientists have been looking at this for a few decades, magicians have been looking at this for centuries, millennia probably.  What magicians do is light-years ahead in terms of sophistication and the power of these techniques."

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