SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN~ Magic Is (Literally) for the Birds~ What conjuring techniques can reveal about animal cognition ~ an article by Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen L. Macknik October 13, 2020

The magician climbs into the cage to perform a show for one. For this special event, he eschews coins and cards for peanuts. He rolls his sleeves and faces his captive audience: a corvid bird by the name of Stuka. He shows Stuka a peanut and waves it through the air, sweeping it from one hand to another. Stuka tracks the treat, moving its head like a spectator at a tennis match. Then the magician opens his right hand and shows … nothing! The nut has disappeared! Stuka seems to look around for the missing legume, but the magician pulls it from inside his mouth. Was it there all along? Now the magician vanishes the peanut again, pulling it from his ear next. The peanut keeps magically switching from one place to another, and a second bird approaches to watch, perhaps out of curiosity. The question is, what are those birdbrains thinking?

Elias Garcia-Pelegrin learned to perform magic as an undergraduate student studying drama at University College London (UCL). Upon graduating—and realizing that acting wouldn’t pay the bills—he worked as a bar magician. He also took a job as a zookeeper in an aquarium and grew fascinated with the possible role of social transmission in the mating rituals of penguins. By then, he had gone back to college for a second degree in psychology. Now a Ph.D. student at the University of Cambridge, Garcia-Pelegrin is set to apply his multifaceted background in psychology, zoology and magic to the study of animal cognition.

Garcia-Pelegrin’s approach, presented in a recent Science perspective co-authored by Alexandra Schnell, Clive Wilkins, and Nicola S. Clayton, follows in the footsteps of research deploying visual illusions to better understand perception in such disparate species as lions, horses, monkeys and bees. Their framework also extends prior explorations of the intersection of magic, psychology and neuroscience in subjects ranging from human audiences to nonhuman minds.

To read more visit https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/magic-is-literally-for-the-birds/

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Professors Nicky Clayton and Clive Wilkins of The Captured Thought have been invited to attend SciFoo 2020~ 23-25th October. Googleplex, Mountain View, California

About 250 attendees from all walks of life arrive at Googleplex in Mountain View, California, on a Friday for a weekend educational program — except there’s no program in place for them. And that’s intentional. Science Foo Camp — the “Foo” stands for “Friends of O’Reilly,” referencing publishing company O’Reilly Media, which hosts the event in collaboration with Google, Nature Publishing Group, and Digital Science — has been held annually since 2005 as part of a series of Foo Camps, including Social Science Foo Camp and the original Foo Camp that launched in 2003 as a hacker “unconference.”

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28th October 2020. 9am – 2.00pm Mexico time. 3pm-8pm UK time. Zoom presentation at the Centro Tlaxcala de Biologia de la Conducta, Unversidad Automoma de Tlaxcala, Mexico. Behaviour Symposium. “Conflict: Current validity and relevance of the four Tinbergen questions’ The Development and Evolution of Cognitive Illusions

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News from the Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge. UK

To find out more visit https://www.psychol.cam.ac.uk/news/innovative-approach-psychologists-investigating-cognitive-parallels-attention-perception-and

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Neuroscience~ An unexpected audience. Published in Science~ Perspectives.

A paper by Elias Garcia-Pelegrin, Alexandra K. Schnell, Clive Wilkins and Nicola S. Clayton of the Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge, UK.

Exploring how magic reveals the blindspots in perception and the roadblocks in thinking in both humans and comparative approaches in animals.

Science  18 Sep 2020:
Vol. 369, Issue 6510, pp. 1424-1426
DOI: 10.1126/science.abc6805
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The Cambridge Centre for the Integration of Science, Technology and Culture [CCISTC] filming a new series of lectures.

CCISTC are preparing ten lectures to be filmed in the impressive SCR at Clare College, Cambridge.

The team consists of  the directors of CCISTC, Dr.Michael Zhou, Prof. Nicky Clayton and Prof. Clive Wilkins and Cambridge University graduate students Ning Ding and Xiangyi Zha.

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The Captured Thought and CCISTC preparing for new work~ watch this space~ normal service will be resumed ASAP

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Cambridge Centre for the Integration of Science, Technology and Culture~ Online lectures to Universities

Posted in Clive Wilkins, Department of Psychology, Dr. Ruigang Michael Zhou, Prof. Clive Wilkins, Prof. Nicky Clayton, Professor Clive Wilkins, Professor Nicky Clayton, The Captured Thought, The Moustachio Quartet, The Royal Society, University of Cambridge, Uppingham | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Captured Thought~ Nicky Clayton & Clive Wilkins~ featured in an article in DIE ZEIT written by Stefan Klein. 22nd April 2020.

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Cambridge Centre for the Integration of Science, Technology and Culture

The Cambridge Centre for the Integration of Science, Technology and Culture (CCISTC), establishes interdisciplinary research projects across a variety of platforms and organises conferences, seminars and programmes designed to bring people from distinct and disparate disciplines together. In light of the current trend towards globalisation, the aim is to promote discussion and collaboration among academics, students, and international partners (eg. policy makers, higher education institutions, societies, association, etc.) across the globe.

Prof. Nicola Clayton, of The Captured Thought, Fellow of Royal Society and Professor of Comparative Cognition in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge, is the Founding Director of CCISTC, in consultation with the Co-Directors Prof. Clive Wilkins, also of The Captured Thought, and Artist in Residence in the Department of Psychology, and Dr. Ruigang Michael Zhou, the President of UK Branch at the China UK Development Council.

To find out more about this exciting new initiative, visit

https://www.psychol.cam.ac.uk/CCISTC

Posted in Cambridge, CHINA UK DEVELOPMENT CENTRE, China UK Development Council, Clive Wilkins, CUDC, Department of Psychology, Dr. Ruigang Michael Zhou, Nicky Clayton, Prof. Clive Wilkins, Prof. Nicky Clayton, The Captured Thought, The Moustachio Quartet, University of Cambridge | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment