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October 29, 2007

Left Brains & Right Brains

A Visual Ambiguity Test

Posted at http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,22535838-5012895,00.html, the UK Daily Telegraph has one of those interesting visual illusions that the brain can interpret in alternative ways--in this case a dancing figure that can appear to be turning either clockwise or counter-clockwise. According to the accompanying description, the direction a person tends to see it turning in is supposed to indicate which side of the brain is used more.

Some people I've talked to can only see it turning one way, however much they try to see the opposite. A few won't look at it because they find it disorientating. I guess I must be one of those who have close to an equal share of both, because I can see it going either way at will. The trick, I find, is to focus on the leg that's extended and see it as passing behind or in front of the figure as it moves left to right (or vice versa). In fact, I've found the dancer had three modes. By fixing attention on the foot that's on the floor, it's possible to see it making alternate half-turns to left and right, without the figure turning making a complete turn in either direction at all.

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