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Dr Gustav Kuhn

Staff details

PositionReader in Psychology
Department Psychology
Email g.kuhn (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone+44 (0)20 7296 4388
Dr Gustav Kuhn

Summary of research

I am a Cognitive Psychologist interested in human perception and cognition. Much of my research focuses on magic and explores ways in which magicians allow you to experience the impossible. In the MAGIC lab we use magic to study a wide range questions about human cognition. For example, why is your mind so easily trick? How can we misdirect your attention, and why is your experience distorted by perceptual, attentional and other more general cognitive illusions? I believe that the science of magic can provide use with valuable insights into human cognition. Much of my other research centers on social cognition, and attentional processes involved in social interactions.

Academic qualifications

BSc DPhil

Areas of supervision

I welcome undergraduate as well as postgraduate projects that are interested in attention and visual cognition in general. Moreover, I am happy to supervise projects that use eye tracking.

I also welcome projects on the science of magic.

  • Using principles in magic to explore visual cognition.
  • Using magic to investigate belief systems
  • Using magic to improve wellbeing

Research Interests

Social cognition and attention

I am interested in visual perception, and the factors that determine our conscious perception of the world.  In particular, what are the mechanisms that drive our attentional system to select certain events at the expense of others?  I use a wide range techniques, from laboratory based reaction time tasks to eye tracking measures, both in the lab and the real world. I am particularly interested in how attention is guided by social cues, as indicated by another persons’ gaze direction. How does our use of gaze cues in the “real world” differ from the lab? Do children and individuals with autism utilize gaze cues differently?

Current research questions

  • Social attention in the real world
  • How does the presence of others influence cognition?
  • Attention and awareness

Science of Magic

Over the centuries, magicians have developed extensive knowledge about how to manipulate our conscious experience, knowledge that has been largely ignored by science. Outside of my academic life I am a keen magician, as a result I have developed a special interest in how the magicians’ expertise can be used to further knowledge of cognition.  I believe that steps should be taken towards utilizing this knowledge to further our understanding of human cognition and consciousness. For example, the magician’s techniques in misdirecting people’s attention may provide unique insights into attention and awareness. Many magical illusions can inform us about the nature of our visual system, and our disbelief resulting from experiencing a magic trick can tell us about human reasoning and beliefs.

Current research questions

  • What is magic and why do we enjoy magical experiences?
  • Can magical experiences change your beliefs?
  • Can magic offer new human computer interactions?
  • Can magic improve your wellbeing?
  • Can magic improve your creativity?
  • Illusions and other distortions of reality
  • Expertise in magic

 For more information about my research visit my website.

Publications

Article

It is magic! How impossible solutions prevent the discovery of obvious ones?
Thomas, C; Didierjean, A and Kuhn, Gustav. 2017. It is magic! How impossible solutions prevent the discovery of obvious ones? The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, ISSN 1747-0218

The magic hand: plasticity of mental hand representation
Cocchini, Gianna; Galligan, Toni; Mora, Laura and Kuhn, Gustav. 2017. The magic hand: plasticity of mental hand representation. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, ISSN 1747-0218

Don't get misdirected! Differences in overt and covert attentional inhibition between children and adults.
Kuhn, Gustav and Teszka, Robert. 2016. Don't get misdirected! Differences in overt and covert attentional inhibition between children and adults. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology(ja), pp. 1-23. ISSN 0022-1015

Own-age biases in adults’ and children’s joint attention: Biased face prioritization, but not gaze following!
Freebody, Susannah and Kuhn, Gustav. 2016. Own-age biases in adults’ and children’s joint attention: Biased face prioritization, but not gaze following! The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, pp. 1-9. ISSN 1747-0218

Exercise-Induced Fatigue and Caffeine Supplementation Affect Psychomotor Performance but Not Covert Visuo-Spatial Attention
Sakakibara, Manabu; Connell, Charlotte J. W.; Thompson, Benjamin; Kuhn, Gustav and Gant, Nicholas. 2016. Exercise-Induced Fatigue and Caffeine Supplementation Affect Psychomotor Performance but Not Covert Visuo-Spatial Attention. PLOS ONE, 11(10), pp. 1-19. ISSN 1932-6203

Oculomotor Atypicalities in Developmental Coordination Disorder
Sumner, Emma J; Hutton, Samuel B; Kuhn, Gustav and Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2016. Oculomotor Atypicalities in Developmental Coordination Disorder. Developmental Science, ISSN 1363-755X

Oculomotor atypicalities in Developmental Coordination Disorder
Sumner, Emma; Hutton, Samuel B.; Kuhn, Gustav and Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2016. Oculomotor atypicalities in Developmental Coordination Disorder. Developmental Science, pp. 1-12. ISSN 1363 755X

Editorial: The Psychology of Magic and the Magic of Psychology
Kuhn, Gustav; Olson, Jay A. and Raz, Amir. 2016. Editorial: The Psychology of Magic and the Magic of Psychology. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, p. 1358. ISSN 1664-1078

Fatigue related impairments in oculomotor control are prevented by caffeine
Connell, Charlotte J. W.; Thompson, Benjamin; Claffey, Michael P.; Duncan, Shelley; Kuhn, Gustav and Gant, Nicholas. 2016. Fatigue related impairments in oculomotor control are prevented by caffeine. Scientific Reports, 6, p. 26614. ISSN 2045-2322

Real Person Interaction in Visual Attention Research
Cole, Geoff G.; Skarratt, Paul A. and Kuhn, Gustav. 2016. Real Person Interaction in Visual Attention Research. European Psychologist, 21(2), pp. 141-149. ISSN 1016-9040

The Vanishing Ball Illusion: A new perspective on the perception of dynamic events
Kuhn, Gustav and Rensink, Ronald A.. 2016. The Vanishing Ball Illusion: A new perspective on the perception of dynamic events. Cognition, 148, pp. 64-70. ISSN 0010-0277

Rare” Emotive Faces and Attentional Orienting
Kuhn, Gustav; Pickering, Alan and Cole, Geoff G.. 2016. Rare” Emotive Faces and Attentional Orienting. Emotion, 16(1), pp. 1-5. ISSN 1528-3542

Don’t be fooled. Don’t be fooled! Attentional responses to social cues in a face-to-face and video magic trick reveals greater top-down control for overt than covert attention
Kuhn, Gustav; Teszka, Robert; Tenaw, Natalia and Kingstone, Alan. 2016. Don’t be fooled. Don’t be fooled! Attentional responses to social cues in a face-to-face and video magic trick reveals greater top-down control for overt than covert attention. Cognition, 146, pp. 136-142. ISSN 0010-0277

Don’t be fooled! Attentional responses to social cues in a face-to-face and video magic trick reveals greater top-down control for overt than covert attention
Kuhn, Gustav; Teszka, Robert; Tenaw, Natalia and Kingstone, Alan. 2016. Don’t be fooled! Attentional responses to social cues in a face-to-face and video magic trick reveals greater top-down control for overt than covert attention. Cognition, 146, pp. 136-142. ISSN 0010-0277

A framework for using magic to study the mind
Rensink, Ronald A. and Kuhn, Gustav. 2015. A framework for using magic to study the mind. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, ISSN 1664-1078

Priming psychic and conjuring abilities of a magic demonstration influences event interpretation and random number generation biases
Mohr, Christine; Koutrakis, Nikolaos and Kuhn, Gustav. 2015. Priming psychic and conjuring abilities of a magic demonstration influences event interpretation and random number generation biases. Frontiers in Psychology, 5(1542), pp. 1-8. ISSN 1664-1078

Real person interaction in visual attention research.
Cole, Geoff G.; Skarratt, Paul A. and Kuhn, Gustav. 2015. Real person interaction in visual attention research. European Psychologist, ISSN 1016-9040

The possibility of a science of magic
Rensink, Ronald A. and Kuhn, Gustav. 2015. The possibility of a science of magic. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, ISSN 1664-1078

Age-related decline in the reflexive component of overt gaze following
Kuhn, Gustav; Pagano, Amber; Maani, Sumaya and Bunce, David. 2015. Age-related decline in the reflexive component of overt gaze following. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68(6), pp. 1073-1081. ISSN 1747-0218

A psychologically-based taxonomy of misdirection
Kuhn, Gustav; Caffaratti, Hugo A.; Teszka, Robert and Rensink, Ronald A.. 2014. A psychologically-based taxonomy of misdirection. Frontiers in Psychology, 5(1392), pp. 1-14. ISSN 1664-1078

Expertise among professional magicians: an interview study
Rissanen, Olli; Pitkänen, Petteri; Juvonen, Antti; Kuhn, Gustav and Hakkarainen, Kai. 2014. Expertise among professional magicians: an interview study. Frontiers in Psychology, 5(1484), pp. 1-4. ISSN 1664-1078

Telling people where to look in a soccer-based decision task: A nomothetic approach.
Bishop, D.; Kuhn, Gustav and Matron, C.. 2014. Telling people where to look in a soccer-based decision task: A nomothetic approach. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 7(2), pp. 1-13.

Personal Social Networks and the Cultivation of Expertise in Magic: An Interview Study
Rissanen, Olli; Palonen, Tuire; Pitkänen, Petteri; Kuhn, Gustav and Hakkarainen, Kai. 2013. Personal Social Networks and the Cultivation of Expertise in Magic: An Interview Study. Vocations and Learning, 6(3), pp. 347-365. ISSN 1874-785X

Eye Movement Difficulties in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Implications for Implicit Contextual Learning
Kourkoulou, Anastasia; Kuhn, Gustav; Findlay, John M. and Leekam, Susan R.. 2013. Eye Movement Difficulties in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Implications for Implicit Contextual Learning. Autism Research, 6(3), pp. 177-189. ISSN 1939-3792

Visual cognition during real social interaction
Skarratt, Paul A.; Cole, Geoff G. and Kuhn, Gustav. 2012. Visual cognition during real social interaction. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6(196), pp. 1-9. ISSN 1662-5161

Misdirection - past, present, and the future
Kuhn, Gustav and Martinez, L. M.. 2012. Misdirection - past, present, and the future. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 5,

Potential social interactions are important to social attention
Laidlaw, K. E. W.; Foulsham, T.; Kuhn, Gustav and Kingstone, A.. 2011. Potential social interactions are important to social attention. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(14), pp. 5548-5553.

The Magic Grasp: Motor Expertise in Deception
Cavina-Pratesi, C.; Kuhn, Gustav; Ietswaart, M. and Milner, A. D.. 2011. The Magic Grasp: Motor Expertise in Deception. Plos One, 6(2), e16568-e16568.

Non-transient luminance changes do not capture attention
Cole, Geoff G.; Kuhn, Gustav and Skarratt, Paul A.. 2011. Non-transient luminance changes do not capture attention. Attention Perception & Psychophysics, 73(5), pp. 1407-1421.

Increased gaze following for fearful faces. It depends on what you're looking for!
Kuhn, Gustav and Tipples, J.. 2011. Increased gaze following for fearful faces. It depends on what you're looking for! Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 18(1), pp. 89-95.

Misdirected by the gap: The relationship between inattentional blindness and attentional misdirection
Kuhn, Gustav and Tatler, Benjamin W.. 2011. Misdirected by the gap: The relationship between inattentional blindness and attentional misdirection. Consciousness and Cognition, 20(2), pp. 432-436.

Developmental changes in the control of saccadic eye movements in response to directional eye gaze and arrows
Kuhn, Gustav; Tewson, L.; Morpurgo, L.; Freebody, S. F.; Musil, A. S. and Leekam, S. R.. 2011. Developmental changes in the control of saccadic eye movements in response to directional eye gaze and arrows. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64(10), pp. 1919-1929.

Attentional capture by object appearance and disappearance
Cole, G. G. and Kuhn, Gustav. 2010. Attentional capture by object appearance and disappearance. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 63(1), pp. 147-159.

What the experimenter's prime tells the observer's brain
Cole, G. G. and Kuhn, Gustav. 2010. What the experimenter's prime tells the observer's brain. Attention Perception & Psychophysics, 72(5), pp. 1367-1376.

The role of attention in a masked-prime effect
Cole, G. G. and Kuhn, Gustav. 2010. The role of attention in a masked-prime effect. Perception, 39, p. 81.

Misdirection, attention and awareness: Inattentional blindness reveals temporal relationship between eye movements and visual awareness
Kuhn, Gustav and Findlay, J. M.. 2010. Misdirection, attention and awareness: Inattentional blindness reveals temporal relationship between eye movements and visual awareness. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 63(1), pp. 136-146.

Eye movements affirm: automatic overt gaze and arrow cueing for typical adults and adults with autism spectrum disorder
Kuhn, Gustav; Benson, V.; Fletcher-Watson, S.; Kovshoff, H.; McCormick, C. A.; Kirkby, J. and Leekam, S. R.. 2010. Eye movements affirm: automatic overt gaze and arrow cueing for typical adults and adults with autism spectrum disorder. Experimental Brain Research, 201(2), pp. 155-165.

How Magic Changes Our Expectations About Autism
Kuhn, Gustav; Kourkoulou, A. and Leekam, S. R.. 2010. How Magic Changes Our Expectations About Autism. Psychological Science, 21(10), pp. 1487-1493. ISSN 0956-7976

The Prioritization of Feature Singletons in the Change Detection Paradigm
Cole, G. G.; Kuhn, Gustav; Heywood, C. A. and Kentridge, R. W.. 2009. The Prioritization of Feature Singletons in the Change Detection Paradigm. Experimental Psychology, 56(2), pp. 134-146.

Look away! Eyes and arrows engage oculomotor responses automatically
Kuhn, Gustav and Kingstone, A.. 2009. Look away! Eyes and arrows engage oculomotor responses automatically. Attention Perception & Psychophysics, 71(2), pp. 314-327.

Imaging the impossible: An fMRI study of impossible causal relationships in magic tricks
Parris, B. A.; Kuhn, G.; Mizon, G. A.; Benattayallah, A. and Hodgson, T. L.. 2009. Imaging the impossible: An fMRI study of impossible causal relationships in magic tricks. Neuroimage, 45(3), pp. 1033-1039.

Learning non-local dependencies
Kuhn, Gustav and Dienes, Z.. 2008. Learning non-local dependencies. Cognition, 106(1), pp. 184-206.

Towards a science of magic
Kuhn, Gustav; Amlani, A. A. and Rensink, R. A.. 2008. Towards a science of magic. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 12(9), pp. 349-354. ISSN 1364-6613

Misdirection in magic: Implications for the relationship between eye gaze and attention
Kuhn, Gustav; Tatler, Benjamin W.; Findlay, John M. and Cole, Geoff G.. 2008. Misdirection in magic: Implications for the relationship between eye gaze and attention. Visual Cognition, 16(2-3), pp. 391-405. ISSN 1350-6285

The influence of eye-gaze and arrow pointing distractor cues on voluntary eye movements
Kuhn, Gustav and Benson, V.. 2007. The influence of eye-gaze and arrow pointing distractor cues on voluntary eye movements. Perception & Psychophysics, 69(6), pp. 966-971.

Differences in the types of musical regularity learnt in incidental- and intentional-learning conditions
Kuhn, Gustav and Dienes, Z.. 2006. Differences in the types of musical regularity learnt in incidental- and intentional-learning conditions. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 59(10), pp. 1725-1744.

There's more to magic than meets the eye
Kuhn, Gustav and Land, Michael F.. 2006. There's more to magic than meets the eye. Current Biology, 16(22), R950-R951. ISSN 0960-9822

Implicit learning of nonlocal musical rules: Implicitly learning more than chunks
Kuhn, Gustav and Dienes, Z.. 2005. Implicit learning of nonlocal musical rules: Implicitly learning more than chunks. Journal of Experimental Psychology-Learning Memory and Cognition, 31(6), pp. 1417-1432.

Magic and fixation: Now you don't see it, now you do
Kuhn, Gustav and Tatler, B. W.. 2005. Magic and fixation: Now you don't see it, now you do. Perception, 34(9), pp. 1155-1161.

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