Saturday, March 21, 2009

Interesting Illusion

Just to undermine your confidence in the certainty of your perception here is a neat optical illusion that I found on GizmoWatch.com




Supposedly if you see the dancer spinning counterclockwise, then you are left brained (logical). If you see her spinning clockwise then you are right brained (creative). If you see her spinning both directions I can only assume it means that you are either nuts are quickly heading in that direction.

Note: As a law student, I fittingly saw it spinning counterclockwise at first and then examined it from every possible angle, abusing my brain until I was able to see it spin clockwise as well. After much effort, I can say it really is possible to see it both ways, but find it disconcerting for some reason. I have to look away for it to change directions though, my mind can't handle the change looking directly at it. I'm a little skeptical that the image isn't really just changing directions though.

11 comments:

  1. I think it's changing directions!

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  2. Did you catch it in the act? It only seems to change directions for me when I'm not looking at it. Another website said they slowed it down and watched it frame by frame and there is no shenanigans. I remain skeptical.

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  3. "I'm a little skeptical that the image isn't really just changing directions though."

    Think about that fora while.

    The image is a two dimensional, black-on-gray silhouette.

    There is no way to transmit rotational information in two dimensions with no details as to the subjects physiognomy.

    The image is not rotating, the silhouette (shadow, if you prefer) is shrinking and expanding in a way consistent with rotation, but it is not rotating. Either way.

    Any rotational information you see is generated in your head.

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  4. Ok point taken, so would it be more accurate to say I am skeptical that the shadow is shrinking and expanding in uniform pattern so as to suggest a consistent rotational direction?

    Maybe I am misunderstanding the whole way this works. I do know; however, that it makes my head hurt, almost as much as thinking about how quickly the deficit is growing, and that my future children and I are going to have to pay for it.

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  5. This thing is cool and freaky. I hope you're wrong about that "If you see her spinning both directions I can only assume it means that you are either nuts are quickly heading in that direction." I see the dancer shift from counter-clockwise to clockwise pretty frequently.

    "I'm a little skeptical that the image isn't really just changing directions though." I have to say that both me and my wife were staring at this thing for a while, and when it would shift for me it would not shift for her. Most of the time we saw it rotating the same way, but occasionally I would see it see rotating clockwise and then she would see it rotating counter-clockwise at the same moment. It was a trippy conversation.

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  6. A disclaimer: I am not sure I buy the left-brain-right-brain thing, but the evidence is very hard to margue with.

    So assuming that it is correct, I don't thein seeing the figure switch directions mans you are crazy, it just meens you can change you mode of analysis,

    Some days I can "make" her switch pretty much at will, other days se is stuck in one mode or the other. Which of the three seems clearly to related to my moods and degree of restedness.

    (I have not yet figured out which is which.)

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  7. yeah I was just joking when I said it means you are crazy. Looking around the web, it is interesting to see other people's comments about it. A lot of support for the right brain left brain thing. Either way it is pretty interesting. Thanks for the comments.

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  8. Yeah, I was joking about the crazy thing. Everything else was true.

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  9. "Just to undermine your confidence in the certainty of your perception..." Or, if you're a female who finds her obvious measurements unattainable: "Just to undermine your confidence. Period."

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  10. Sorry, what did you say? I was busy watching the ballerina dancing...

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  11. The deception is that she does, indeed, change directions. You have to watch for some time and very closely. Follow the direction in which her ponty tale moves.

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