Are You in Your Right Mind?

What direction is this girl spinning?

Picture of girl spinning

According to a Herald Sun article, most see her spinning counterclockwise. If you do, that supposedly means your “left brain” is dominant. If you see her spinning clockwise, the your “right brain” is dominant. Some people are able to see her spinning either direction. The article has lists of right and left brain functions and traits.

I see her spinning clockwise. What direction does she spin for you?

Hat tip: Josh Bancroft.

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Author: Brent Logan

Engineer. Lawyer. WordPress geek. Longboarder. Blood donor. Photographer. More about Brent.

3 thoughts on “Are You in Your Right Mind?”

  1. “Yes honey, I know it’s a naked lady spinning around, but really its a SCIENCE experiment!” “No, I am not cruising the dark corners of the web, this is Brent’s blog!” “She spins right for me, what about you?” “OK, OK, I’ll shut down this screen before the children show up.”

    sometimes it’s so hard to do pure science…

  2. Art, I was wondering about the choice of subject matter myself. After much thought, I came to the conclusion the researchers chose a form people recognize and have some basic understanding of how it moves.

    Why is this important, I hear you (and your wife) asking. I maintain that being able to see her raised leg as pivoting at the hip is important to seeing the figure spinning counterclockwise.

    Those of us who see the figure spinning clockwise see the raised right leg being held at a fairly constant angle with the foot maintaining a consistent height above the surface (ignoring the jumping or bouncing that she’s also doing). When her raised foot passes in front of her vertical leg, the toes appear to pass in front of the ankle; when her raised foot passes behind, her raised toes appear to pass behind the the upper portion of the calf. She appears unbending or rigid as she spins.

    Those who see the figure spinning counterclockwise perceive her raising her leg as she swings it toward us and swinging it low as it passes behind her. She also seems to swing her left arm around a little faster as it passes behind her. Our perceived viewpoint is now much lower, probably around knee height. Neither of these motions appears strange, though, because we recognize that legs articulate at hips and arms at the shoulders. These factors all combine to let the brain make sense of the foot appearing higher as it passes in front of the vertical leg than when it passes behind.

    If the researchers had chosen an object that might be perceived as rigid and not able to articulate, then the counterclockwise rotation might not be viewed as possible.

    So, yeah, the researchers chose a human form because it assists in the illusion. You’re on your own to explain why the human form had to be a female and naked, though… ;-)

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