The Spinning Dancer Visual Optical Illusion

What to see?

What do you see when you look at this picture?  The silhouette of a woman? So far you’re right, now let’s experience a little. This visual optical illusion was created by Nobuyuki Kayahara and it represents the apparent direction of motion of the figure.

What to do?

The Spinning Dancer is also known as the silhouette illusion and it’s a kinetic, optical illusion that represents a pirouetting female dancer. This “game” it’s not a brain test, it’s just an illusion called reversible or ambiguous image and its one of the most studied images among others, to show how the brain works. To be more clear: If you see the dancer spinning clockwise it means you are using more of your right brain and if you see it spinning counterclockwise it means you are more of a left-brained person.

After you looked enough at the image, try to decide which way the dancer spins and try to make her spin the other way around, mentally. Even if it’s difficult, it’s possible. At some of you this can happen spontaneously, at others it may be very difficult to voluntarily flip the direction.

How it works?

The visual optical illusion illusion derives from the lack of visual cues for depth. If we look at her arms we can see them either closer and to the left, either farther and to the left and the way we see the image clockwise or counter-clockwise it’s because the dancer is changing legs. She’s changing them because she is facing either towards or away from the viewer; being no features on the silhouette to indicate which side of her body is presented the least “confusing” position is her profile when she is on either side of the circle.

In the last image you can have a clearer image of the movement and if you’re paying attention you can even spot the moment when she is changing legs. To see that easier, you can concentrate at one point of the image, preferably one of the legs or a foot.

Now for a few more interesting things about how your brain works:

If you are Left Brained then you are rather: logical, analytical, objective and you’re able to analyze things better taking them piece by piece.

If you are Right Brained then you are rather: intuitive, holistic, subjective, you work by random and you can look at things like a whole.

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