01 November 2007

Clockwise or Counter-Clockwise?

Right Brain v Left Brain

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Which Way Is the Dancer Spinning? Some say both ways.

So far, she only spins clockwise for me.

My better half said clockwise at first, but then she focused on a different spot and the dancer changed direction. My oldest sees her change direction with no control over it. My youngest sees her spin clockwise, only.

Not sure if this is related, but I always have trouble seeing the hidden picture in Magic Eye's autostereograms but my wife has no trouble seeing them.

UPDATE: I got her to switch directions! I scrolled the picture down so I could only see the top of her head. When it switched directions, I scrolled the picture up and she was spinning counter-clockwise! It lasted for maybe 20 seconds and then she switched back to spinning clockwise. I was able to repeat the procedure. Weird, huh?

UPDATE: Okay, I can get her to switch directions now while viewing the whole image.

UPDATE: The Spinning Dancer and the Brain

When presented with stimuli that have two valid, mutually contradictory interpretations, your brain just picks one. Then, sometimes, it picks the other. We still don’t understand why this happens, or what role conscious efforts might play in this shift in perception. Many people are able to make the dancer shift directions at will, but the strategies I’ve seen almost always invoke a change of focus - I shift my attention to her feet, or scroll up and down, others look at her hands or to her side. (I’ve also seen lots of people talk about staring at her nipples, but none who report that it helps them see her change directions.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tim -
I am now able to make her change direction immediately. I do this by focusing on the shadow at the bottom of the image rather than the woman (which is difficult to do). When looking at the shadow, I tell my brain which way the shadow should be going if she's going clockwise, or counter-clockwise. Doing this allows me to immediately "change" her direction according to what way I think she should be going based on the shadow's perceived movement.

A couple things come to mind: 1) is there a statistical difference between men's and women's ability to see the image rotating both directions, and 2) I wonder if a similar image of a man (well... not too similar I suppose) would have the same statistical differences.

In other words, is the fact that this is a rather voluptuous woman have any affect on our ability to see her turning both directions?

Just a thought.

Cos(0) Mike