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Video Short: Magic and Autism

A magician's sleight of hand may not fool people with autism, who may benefit from learning social cues found in magic.
Publish Date: Topic: Body + BrainBody & BrainBrand: NOVA ScienceNOWNOVA ScienceNOW

Tapping into social cues to trick their audience, magicians rely on a phenomenon called joint attention. Most audience members will pay attention to what a magician is looking at—so a magician can direct their attention away by looking in the opposite direction. People on the autistic spectrum can have trouble picking up on the cues of joint attention and may not be fooled by a magician's sleight of hand. Researchers are now looking to magic as a useful technique to teach children with autism how to read social cues.

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