ABSTRACT

This article explores the topic of scientific discovery in two cases of intersections between imaging technologies and sleight-of-hand magic in the domain of nontheatrical film and media. The first case is the French psychologist Alfred Binet’s use of chronophotography to study magicians in the 1890s. The second is the reanimation of Binet’s study by cognitive (neuro)scientists beginning in the early 2000s using eye-tracking cameras and other digital-imaging devices. The author focuses on how both cases treat the magician as a medium of discovery and how both use optical devices to “see” visual processes related to the experience of wonder.

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