Northern Arizona University
Psychology Department
P.O. Box 15106
Flagstaff, AZ 86011
Office Phone: (928) 523-8132



Thanks for stopping by. I'm a lecturer at Northern Arizona University in beautiful Flagstaff, Arizona. In the lab, I study the psychological processes underlying handwritten word perception and the psychological foundations of magic and illusion. I have lectured on the psychology of magic at magic conventions and to students of psychology at colleges and universities. As a performer, I attempt to employ psychological principles to elevate my magic’s impact and increase the audience’s sense of wonder. Please click the "research" tab above for more information!  

If you're interested in psychology and magic, please see my magic website ( for a listing of my future public lectures on the topic and my blog ( for the latest news from the trenches.


April 2015: I was interviewed by science writer, Pierangelo Garzia, for a piece on the psychology of magic. I also, quite capably, created the illusion that I am fluent in Italian! Psicologo e mago: a lezione da Anthony Barnhart, in arte Magic Tony

March 2015: I am pleased to announce that, come Fall 2015, I will be joining the faculty in the Department of Psychological Science at Carthage College, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. As my swan song at NAU, I organized a teaching conference on the use of skepticism to enhance students' critical thinking. The conference, called "The Skeptical Classroom," was a huge success. To see the impressive list of speakers and the topics covered, visit

December 2014: I've developed a new paradigm for the study of inattentional blindness, inspired by the methods of magicians. You can read my newest paper, Blinded by magic: Eye-movements reveal the misdirection of attention, in a special issue of Frontiers in Psychology on the science of magic. The other articles in the special issue can be viewed here.

November 2014: I'll be speaking at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) as part of the Skeptics Society's "Distinguished Science Lecture Series." More information can be found here.

September 2014: I appeared alongside Drs. Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde (authors of Sleights of Mind) to discuss the science of magic in an episode of the Science Channel series, "Hack My Brain." The series appeared previously in Australia as "Redesign My Brain." Click Here to watch the clip from "Redesign My Brain."

May 2014: I contributed a demonstration on attentional misdirection in time to the Vision Sciences Society's 2014 "Demo Night." Download a copy of my handout here.

December 2013: Word shape doesn't influence word perception, right?!? Think again...My newest publication in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review suggests that configural cues are an important component of handwritten word perception. Rotation reveals the importance of configural cues in handwritten word perception.

September 2013: The Boston Globe published an article on handwritten word perception, featuring work I've carried out with Stephen Goldinger. You can read the article here (or download a .pdf copy here).

September 2012: My research was featured in a wonderful article on the science of magic in Science News For Kids, here.

September 2012: I have been asked to write a series of essays documenting my course on the Psychology of Magic for the James Randi Educational Foundation's Swift blog. Direct your browser here to read the first installment and here to read the second.

July 2012: I was interviewed about my research and course on the Psychology of Magic in a recent episode of the "Token Skeptic" podcast. You can listen below or by directing your browser here.


  Updated: 04/09/2015