The Psychology of Cognitive Illusions or why the mind is tricked --- by Professor Nicky Clayton and Prof Clive Wilkins

The event will be live-streamed on the Society’s YouTube channel, Facebook page, and Twitter Account. No registration required.

We will explore what cognitive illusions reveal about the psychology of the human mind; not just perception but also memory and the ability to mentally travel in time, to revisit our past experiences and reflect upon them, and to explore places we have yet to visit and imagine what they will be like. Magic effects also illuminate some important things about Theory of Mind, our ability to think about what others might be thinking, both on the part of the audience and on the part of the magician. Both mental time travel and theory of mind are constrained by egocentric bias, our tendency to overvalue the present self over other selves and other times.

Professor Nicky Clayton FRS is the Professor of Comparative Cognition in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge, UK. She is particularly interested in the processes of thinking with and without words, and comparisons between the cognitive abilities of corvids (members of the crow family) and children. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2010. She is also the Scientist-in-Residence at Rambert (formerly Ballet Rambert), since 2011.

Professor Clive Wilkins MMC is the Artist-in-Residence in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge, UK, which is a position he has held since 2012. Clive is a fine art painter and writer, and was elected a Member of the Magician’s Circle (MMC) in 2018. Clive’s paintings have been frequently seen in London Mayfair art galleries. His written work has appeared in print on numerous occasions, most notably ‘The Creatures in the Night’, a story written and illustrated by Wilkins in 2008, and most recently ‘The Moustachio Quartet’.