updated 3/28/2013 2:19:52 PM ET 2013-03-28T18:19:52

Quirks of the brain make humans, well, human, and can be harnessed for good or ill. A new television series on the National Geographic Channel called "Brain Games" will use illusions, mind games and interactive experiments to reveal these inner workings of the human brain.

For example, would you believe that Texas had seceded from the United States, if told so by a strange man on the street? Probably not. But when approached by a fake "news crew" and asked to respond to the incredible news, many people were easily fooled. The phenomenon has to do with the power of persuasion, just one of the topics tackled in the series, which debuts at 9 p.m. ET/PT on April 22.

Each episode in " Brain Games " will explore a different topic. These will include attention, fear, perception, sense of time and memory. It is hosted by filmmaker Jason Silva, a self-professed "wonder junkie," who has spoken widely about neurology, the human brain and technology.

The Imaginary Foundation, a Swiss institute that studies imagination, wrote of Silva and his new series as "some kind of Ontological DJ, he recompiles the source code of Western philosophy by mixing and mashing it up into a form of recombinant creativity, which elevates understanding from the dry and prosaic, to a sensual cognitive romance."

Silva is joined by "The Gentleman Thief" Apollo Robbins, a deception specialist. "He is widely considered the best in the world at what he does, which is taking things from people's jackets, pants, purses, wrists, fingers and necks, then returning them in amusing and mind-boggling ways," a New Yorker profile said  of Robbins.

Email Douglas Main  or follow him @Douglas_Main. Follow us @livescience,   Facebook or   Google+. Article originally on

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