Oct 20, 2007

Illusions for the Weekend

I found this on the Herald Sun:
THE Right Brain vs Left Brain test ... do you see the dancer turning clockwise or anti-clockwise?

If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.

Most of us would see the dancer turning anti-clockwise though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it.

LEFT BRAIN FUNCTIONS
uses logic / detail oriented / facts rule / words and language / present and past / math and science / can comprehend /
knowing / acknowledges order / pattern perception / knows object name / reality based / forms strategies / practical / safe

RIGHT BRAIN FUNCTIONS
uses feeling / "big picture" oriented / imagination rules / symbols and images / present and future / philosophy & religion / can "get it" (i.e. meaning) / believes / appreciates / spatial perception / knows object function / fantasy based / presents possibilities / impetuous /risk taking.
I see the woman as turning clockwise, and I can't change her direction.

79 comments:

Cobalt Paladin said...

Ok, this is weird.

When I first came to your blog entry, the lady was spinning (to me) anti-clockwise. Wanting to read more, I clicked on your Herald Sun link.

The the lady appeared spinning clockwise!

Shocked. I came back to your blog entry and the lady is now spinning clockwise too! But now I can't see the lady turning anti-clockwise anymore.

What gives? Am I right- or left-brain?

jasmine tan said...

Me too, clockwise and can't change the direction. Is this a bluff? I don't think I'm right brained

Anonymous said...

Me too .. I see the woman as turning clockwise, and I can't change her direction.

But my daughter can see both clockwise and anti-clockwise :-)

Jason said...

I can see both....:P

artemov said...

I see the dancer turning clockwise too (view from the top of her head), butI can't change her direction!

Anonymous said...

Look at the space between the bottom foot of the figure and the shadow foot. Look with unfocused eyes away from the screen to the left, keeping the figure at your peripheral vision. Blink slowly as if you were sleepy. Try it.

Anonymous said...

lols so fun. i saw clock wise on first sight and cldnt change. then awhile later it changed to anti clockwise but i cldnt change back le

Anonymous said...

this is thoroughly irrelevant, but i can change the direction at will! : )

andrian martin dominic said...

look away from the picture but still having it at the corner of your eye and try to do a complex maths problem like 13x34 or something.

i did that and the girl actually went anti clockwise for a moment

starfish said...

Hi, Mr Wang, I wonder if it really works, cuz when I looked long enough on the image of the original site, the image 'refreshes' and the dancer changes direction.

neo said...

uh are you sure it's possible to see her turning anti-clockwise? She's obviously turning clockwise

Anonymous said...

I initially see her as turning anti-clockwise, but I could change her direction! The key is in observing the legs in a different way. What does this mean?

Wan Ling said...

This is amusing. I see her turning clockwise initially. When I focus on something else and look at her out of the corner of my eye, I can see her alternating between clockwise and anticlockwise. Now, almost every time I blink, she changes from clockwise to anticlockwise and vice versa. It is really amusing. =)

Pkchukiss said...

Mr Wang, I'm seeing the dancer turning clockwise, and I'm sure that I'm left-brain dominant. What gives?

some guy said...

I swear it was moving anticlockwise when I first saw it. Then i read your article and thought that I should have seen it moving clockwise, being an emotional person.

When I looked at it next, it really was spinning clockwise! And now I can't change it back.

:D

jun said...

Mr Wang, at first I saw the dancer turn clockwise like you did, then after looking (but not staring hard) for a few minutes, she started to turn anti-clockwise...... is it really an illusion or is it really the animation changing? :P

Aristocrat said...

Clockwise too, though when I reached the bottom of the article it suddenly started turning anti-clockwise. Only for a few seconds =(

Cool article!

recruit ong said...

Clockwise leh.. where got anti-clockwise???

recruit ong said...

Yikes!! when i go to the Herald link i see it as anti-clockwise!!! -_-"

strange strange....

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Wang,
I see her as spinning clockwise too. I managed to change her direction by looking at the shadow her outer foot makes on the ground and imagining it to be spinning in the other direction. Maybe by doing this you can make her change direction too

Anders Brink said...

For goodness sake, you are really nuts. A left turning corkscrew is NOT a right turning corkscrew. If you can't tell the difference, nothing your eye sees can say otherwise. And I have a mathematical proof of this.

You really need a science education, and your blogging success is really getting to your head. What a crackpot.

Anonymous said...

if you see it from the bottom, it will be anti-clockwise. QED :)

-fellow right-brainer

Mr Wang Says So said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I suspect its fake.

since its a gif animation, someone can take it appart. becuase frame for frame, I see it as moving clockwise.

just ONLY observe the standing foot. there's no way its going to move anti clockwise

Mr Wang Says So said...

Anders Brink said:

"For goodness sake, you are really nuts. A left turning corkscrew is NOT a right turning corkscrew. If you can't tell the difference, nothing your eye sees can say otherwise. And I have a mathematical proof of this.

You really need a science education, and your blogging success is really getting to your head. What a crackpot."


LOL.

Anonymous said...

http://www.alchemysite.com/blog/2007/10/left-right-brain-dancing-girl.html

Anonymous said...

http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php?p=27

Mr Wang Says So said...

Ah, thanks for the links. the explnation, from one of them:

"Take a look at the spinning girl below. Do you see it spinning clockwise or counter-clockwise? I see it spinning counter-clockwise, and I had a hard time getting it to switch direction. Give it a try.

These kinds of optical illusions are always fun. What they reveal is how our brain processes visual information in order to create a visual model of the world. The visual system evolved to make certain assumptions that are almost always right (like, if something is smaller is it likely farther away). But these assumptions can be exploited to created a false visual construction, or an optical illusion.

The spinning girl is a form of the more general spinning silhouette illusion. The image is not objectively “spinning” in one direction or the other. It is a two-dimensional image that is simply shifting back and forth. But our brains did not evolve to interpret two-dimensional representations of the world but the actual three-dimensional world. So our visual processing assumes we are looking at a 3-D image and is uses clues to interpret it as such. Or, without adequate clues it may just arbitrarily decide a best fit - spinning clockwise or counterclockwise. And once this fit is chosen, the illusion is complete - we see a 3-D spinning image.


By looking around the image, focusing on the shadow or some other part, you may force your visual system to reconstruct the image and it may choose the opposite direction, and suddenly the image will spin in the opposite direction.

This news article, like many others, ignores the true source of this optical illusion and instead claims it is a quick test to see if you use more of your right brain or left brain. This is utter nonsense, but the “right-brain/left brain” thing is in the public consciousness and won’t be going away anytime soon. Sure, we have two hemispheres that operate fine independently and have different abilities, but they are massively interconnected and work together as a seamless whole (providing you have never had surgery to cut your corpus callosum).

We also do have hemispheric dominance, but that determines mostly your handedness and the probability of language being on the right or the left. There is also often asymmetry for memory, with some being right or left hemisphere dominant. But none of this means that your personality or abilities are more right brain or left brain. That much is nonsense.

Further, how your visual cortex constructs this optical illusion says nothing about your hemispheric dominance, and is absolutely not a quick personality profile."

hugewhaleshark said...

I can see both quite easily! First instinct was clockwise though.

Anonymous said...

"Further, how your visual cortex constructs this optical illusion says nothing about your hemispheric dominance, and is absolutely not a quick personality profile."

Now why did Mr Wang claim this has anything to do with being left brained or right brained?

Timothy said...

ejbdkrlpI first see her turning anti-clockwise.

I can make her turn clockwise and anti-clockwise almost at will. Can be easier or harder at different times that I try this, but I can switch easier than most people on this thread.

What does this mean?

Anonymous said...

dear mr wang, i saw the dancer spinning in one direction. And suddenly, she change direction. While i was reading ur entry, she change direction again.

Geez, she is like constantly changing direction. Without me really doing any processing.

So what does this say about me? A fickle mind? hehe...

Blogter said...

I disagree that this is not a right-mind left-mind thing, because I keep seeing it clockwise and couldn't change, except when I tried to do a maths calculation, then it turned anti-clockwise, just like andrian martin dominic said. Agh.. getting a headache...

Mr Wang Says So said...

"Now why did Mr Wang claim this has anything to do with being left brained or right brained?"

I didn't claim it. I was reproducing the article from the Australian newspaper, the Herald Sun.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Mrs Wang and I looked at it at the same time, however each of us perceived it to be spinning in a different direction.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang is always trying to negatively influence the singaporeans. You see, he is getting them to stare at pictures of a naked girl pirouetting. Very naughty, this Mr Wang.

Anonymous said...

http://www.metafilter.com/65382/Silhouette-pirouette#1866113

Anonymous said...

it changes direction after a while! like my friend and i can agree its clockwise now but the other moment both of us can agree its anti-clockwise.

SafariBrowser said...

Hi Mr Wang,

I kept seeing the figure change direction randomly which puzzled me. Then I opened the picture directly in a (Mac) Safari window.
http://www.news.com.au/common/
imagedata/0,,5693171,00.gif

Next, I click-and-hold the mouse over the image which had the effect of freezing the current frame while a faint layer of the dancer still spins over it. Upon releasing the mouse, the freezed frame disappear, leaving the rotating one going.

It seems that the freezed frame forms in the mind's eye the "previous" state of the dancer while the rotating one the next frame. Thus by timing the release of the mouse button, I could voluntarily change the direction of the dancer.

Not sure if the same works on other platforms ;-)

Tan Kok Hao said...

Try to think of something really hard and it'll change direction! Thats a sure fire way to change it. Thanks for such an entertaining post :D

Reo said...

Mr Wang

Just check her leg which one is standing in each direction.

Anonymous said...

I can change the direction, took me a while though. Interesting.

cszhou said...

actually i think a more interesting point is this:

when we showed it around in the office most of us saw it moving clockwise. and yet the article says most people see it anti-clockwise. i wondered if this showed a difference in the way the anglo saxon mind and the asian mind works.

Anonymous said...

I saw the dancer spinning clockwise at first as well, and had some difficulty shifting perception to anti-clockwise. I tried the suggestion to look at the legs, and that didn't work until I also shifting my mind's 'viewing angle'. What I mean is that the woman is bouncing as she spins, and although it is just a 2D optical illusion, the mind creates a 3d perception of the image. When I perceived that I was looking slightly downward such as my 'eyes' were about level to her chest, she seemed to spin clockwise. When I shifted my perception so that I was looking slightly upward with my 'eyes' level to about her knees, she spun anti-clockwise. Instead of perceiving the smaller parter of her body as being farther away, I perceived them as being foreshortened, and thus closer, reversing the direction of the spin.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang,

I just don't see how the lady can not be spinning other than in a clockwise direction.

If you look at her legs, where they meet just below the hip, and the shadow that her foot traces on the floor...

Sorry. From this analytical deconstruction, I simply cannot see how the lady spins in the opposite direction. It's quite clearly clockwise.

Perhaps you're parading yet another example of how we tend see the world as how we want to see it? Or perhaps, as how others would want us to perceive it, given a few subtle suggestions?

Anonymous said...

I see it as clockwise, and have severe difficulty seeing otherwise.

Except for the fact that the shadow clearly indicates it's in an anti-clockwise direction. Only from the shadow was I able to 'switch' the direction.

Andrew Chan said...

I got this illusion thing through an email from a friend of mine as well.

I see the dancer going anti-clockwise more often, though I do see in clockwise as well.

Not sure about the left or right brain thing, but I'm sure it has to do with how our brain perceives things. Just think David Copperfield.

Anonymous said...

"I just don't see how the lady can not be spinning other than in a clockwise direction."

How can the lady be spinning in any direction perpendicular to the plane if she is only a two-dimensional image?

Now do you get it?

jon said...

haha.. this animated gif image is a fraud.

My wife and I view it together, and we both notice the exact instance that this dancer change from clockwise to anti-clockwise, and vice-versa.

Those who thought they can change the direction of the dancer "at will" are just imagining. Go read the classic .

TaoSheng Philosphers Cafe said...

I see her at first turning clockwise and then I see her turning anticlockwise. Subsequently I could see her turning clockwise or anticlockwise according to my mental intention. With a little practice you can see her turning according to your intention. Perhaps intention creats reality. You can use the whole mind and not just the left or right.

George said...

Hi Mr Wang and the rest of the bros here,

I sure hate to spoil your fun and all those speculations and 'brainy' theories. I suppose some people claim to see ghosts and spirits because of the same psychological processes at play.

As some said, its an illusion created that fooled our brain into seeing things, but the girl is indeed spinning both cw and anti-cw - alternately.

The 'spinning' girl is actually spinning right and left (cw and anti-cw ) alternatingly - much like a lawn sprinkler which turns left-right-left-right-left-right ad infinitum when it rotates back and forth from hitting the water jet.

How do I know?

First you capture the gif file and play it back using a graphic programme like Irfanview (heard of it?) which is a foc download.
It has an option which breaks and captures the gif file frame by frame. You then play it back frame by frame and the cw...anti-cw motion becomes pretty obvious.

Teh Si said...

She IS turning clockwise. Arrgh - I cannot make her turn to anti-clockwise... but i am supposed to be left brain type!

Thanks Mr Wang, this has been a rather interesting distraction...

Grrr

Anonymous said...

its the nipples! they are the visual "switch" that makes your brain switch between clockwise and anti-clockwise. :P

CT said...

I initially saw clockwise...

However when I was reading on how the different sides of the brain function, she starts turning anti-clockwise. I dun even have to concentrate or anything.Jus like that.

Whoa, freaky!

Singapore Musings said...

both - and i can change her direction too. :-)

Andy said...

So am I half of both descriptions if i can switch between both?

lynntan said...

If you try to locate a focus pt, it will turn clockwise. That is in line with logical thinking. If u try to feel it, it will give a feel of anti clockwise, that is also in line with creativity. That what i analysed. Hm...

Anonymous said...

Geroge,
But of course, the girl is spinning *both* clockwise and anti-clockwise alternately. That's why it's an optical illusion - 'the image is not objectively “spinning” (continuously) in one direction or the other', as explained in one of the link posted by someone.

Our brain is the one which makes us think it is spinning continuously in one direction. That's the optical illusion part. And, some of us are able to "reverse" the optical illusion to view it as spinning continuously in the other direction.

Anonymous said...

when i first arrive at this page, the woman was spinning anti clock wise, after i focus on her for 30sec, she suddenly switched to clockwise... and after that I can't get her to switch back to spinning anti clock wise.... arrrgggh... think i broke something in my brain...

mb said...

I see both directions

Robert L said...

Ha! Ha! Good one.

If you time it, you'll see it change direction at precise intervals.

Nothing to do with your mental concentration. Or L / R brain.

It's really a good trick - I'll emphasize the word "trick!".

Anonymous said...

What woman?

I see a man.

Anonymous said...

it was fun to have these type of test...it is not a trick..

because i can see the girl spin half-clock wise and half anti clock wise..so no time interval actually...

cool :)

George said...

If you studied it frame by frame as I did, you will note that at the switch-over frame the left/right leg 'interchanges' (made possible because you are looking at a silhouette)and the spin is reversed.

But the brain-conditioning theory still hold some substance as it is possible for two persons to view the spinning girl together but yet saw opposite directions of rotation.

Anonymous said...

Here is the trick!
The dancer switches her leg according to the direction.
If you don't believe me, observe it for a few mins.
LOL

Anonymous said...

does it matter which direction. What's the big deal???????????????

Anonymous said...

it doesn't matter if it is illusion, or computer animation trick, or focal point, or half clockwise, half anti clockwise etc.

What the test is saying is that some ppl straight away see clockwise, some anti, depending on which brain is dominant.

I saw it as clockwise some weeks ago, and couldn't change to anti-cw, no matter how hard I tried (without influence by others).

But now I can see both, after reading the trick to it.

But instintively, i see clockwise.

James Chia said...

Just look at it in the mirror. Tadah! It turns the other way! The world is a huge illusion.

Anonymous said...

You people who cant see the girl spin in the opposite direction: it is NOT impossible! It is definitely NOT only this blog that features it. Go to those links some people have added in their comments if you bother; if not, stop shaming yourself by coming up with your own theory and trying to convince MrWang or yourself that its just a trick or its impossible.

- theyasman

Robert L said...

I offer my deepest apology...

It is still a trick, but it does not change direction at precise intervals. I was too hasty in guessing how they do the trick. For that, I'm very sorry to have confused readers.

Now, I have another suggestion. View the change of directions with two or more persons, and get everyone to shout out the instant the direction is changed.

You will find that everybody saw the change of direction at the same instant. That will prove that the change of direction does not come from different people's L/R brain, but it comes from the picture itself changing direction.

If the change of direction is due to people using their Left or Right brain, then it's not possible that two people see the change at the same instant.

Anonymous said...

I can see the image 3 ways.

First instant, it is always clockwise.

Then I can also train my eye to see anti cw.

Lastly, I can see it turning half circle cw and half anti cw.

I think I covered all!

Mr Wang Says So said...

Robert:

I've just discovered that I can make her turn clockwise, then anticlockwise, then clockwise ... almost immediately. Such that she never completes one full 360 degrees rotation (in other words, she starts turning backs in the opposite direction after completing just a semicircle).

How I do it is to keep focusing my eyes on the image, then on another part of my computer screen (but with the woman's image within my peripheral vision), and then back to the image again, and I do this again and again quickly.

If I stop halfway and just look at the image, she continues turning in the direction that she had been turning all along.

Robert L said...

It's a trick, the change of direction is probably a random program in the gif file. I've copied out the file into harddrive and played it on the regular Windows Picture Viewer (comes with standard Windows XP). The rotation is much slower when viewed away from the website, and you can see the change of direction much more distinctly.

Once again, I'll suggest you view the rotation with two or more people and shout out together when you see the change of direction. You will find that everybody sees the change of direction at the same time, this proves that it's not all the different L/R brains working so coincidentally at synchronism, but that the change originates from the picture itself.

Robert L said...

Dear Mr Wang

You must think I'm a nuisance, but I must apologize for the last two posts I made. I was wrong, and it humbles me that I was arrogant enough to have been so hasty in my posts when I had not spent enough time to evaluate the matter.

I have now concluded that it is not a trick. Yes, a complete about turn for me.

You can reduce the puzzle to a simpler form by blocking out the whole image with a cardboard, leaving only the pivoting leg to view the turning. In this manner, I have been able to force my brain to see the turning on an anti-clockwise direction continuously for up to a minute, even though when I leave my mind in a relax state, the clockwise direction is predominant. Hence, I have to conclude that it is not the image that changed, but the perception of the viewer.

Anonymous said...

Clock or anti-clockwise depends on
where u focus ur mind. The trick is in ur mind.

bloggersamurai said...

actually, a very easy way to get it. picture a clock on top of her head, face down, and focus on her ponytail. She will be turning anticlockwise.

Focus on her outstretched foot, and she will be turning clockwise.

sara said...

i can see her turning both ways. and i know how to make her change direction.
whenever i read words (like your post or your ads etc) she turns anti-clockwise.
the moment i lose my concentration abit (aka space out/day-dream abit) she turns clockwise.
so what the article said about leftbrain/rightbrain words/possibilities was probably true.

John Larkin said...

Focus your gaze of the toes of her raised foot each time they extend the farthest to either the left or right side of the image. You may be able to get the figure to then pivot back and forth. Focus on her one raised foot and ignore the rest of her body. What do you see then?

repowell said...

Having a tendency towards skepticism, I initially believed this to be a fake. It is not-- it is a very real optical illusion.

Download a free animation editor and you will see that 17 frames are dedicated to the left side, and 17 frames are dedicated to the right. The animation is looped, not reversed.

Focus on the first frame and imagine that her back is facing towards you. She will appear to move in a clockwise motion.

Now do it again. Focus on the first frame and imagine her front is facing towards you. She will appear to move in a counter-clockwise motion.

To all those who believe this is a fake: if you reject my challenge to analyze the empirical data, then your claim to skepticism is a false one. You have established your position based on opinion and preconception, not fact.