Summer Term 2020

Please note that only 'active' doctoral students of the GTC can participate in the courses listed.  Doctoral students who have not yet passed their admission interviews ('applicants') and guest students from other faculties can participate only in case of vacancies.

Courses indicated as 'Elective' will run throughout the semester and take place once a week. They are specialist courses offered to masters students, however, they might also be of interest to doctoral students working or planning to work in that particular field.

   course open - please register
   registration expired
Course title

The Psychology of Magic or how magicians use Bayes to fool us

Pablo Rodrigo Grassi, Julius Frack (magician)
Course content / topics

The aim of this elective seminar is to introduce participants into the novel field of the psychology of magic and into central concepts of cognitive neuroscience through visual and cognitive illusions used in stage and close up magic. Magicians effectively combine principles of awareness, attention and perception to misdirect their audience, even in the extremely adverse situation in which everyone tries to understand the method behind their tricks. For the last decade, a small but increasing number of scholars has been studying magicians and their methods to better understand the cognitive mechanisms behind their illusions and also to learn new ways to manipulate cognition and perception in research.

During the two days online zoom seminar, we will learn the scientific work done on magic, interactively show you principles of both magic and cognition (with a focus on visual illusions) and teach you how magicians hijack existing expectations and prior beliefs to create the experience of the impossible. We aim the course to be highly interactive (by showing and solving tricks and effects). The renowned illusionist Julius Frack will join us throughout the seminar to perform diverse tricks to introduce us in the different topics and give us insight about his work as a magician.

Please note that the number of participants is limited to 25

Day, time & location

6.-7.8.2020, 10am-5pm, Zoom Seminar