The Samovar

October 19, 2007, 9:15 pm
Filed under: Frivolity | Tags: , ,

Despite the title, this is not a post about New Labour, but about this lady…


No, I’m not just a perv posting silhouetted computer generated naked woman spinning for kicks. The strange thing about this is that you can see the woman spinning either clockwise or anti-clockwise. The article I got this from claims this has something to do with whether you are left-brained or right-brained, but that’s probably nonsense. You can also flip from seeing it one way to seeing it the other way. The way I got it to work was to look at the ‘reflection’ at the bottom, and try to convince myself that when I thought the upper foot was at the back, it was actually at the front. After a few spins, the woman at the top starting spinning the other way. From then on, she stayed spinning that way quite stably until I focused on something else and then looked back.

FWIW, I naturally see her spinning clockwise, which apparently means I use the right hand side of my brain more than the left (contrary to most people, according to the article). A quick search on the internet suggests this means I am visual, intuitive, etc.

Update: Just scoured the internet to see if anyone had written anything interesting about this, and the answer is: not really. Two pages did stand out though:

  • This one from NeuroLogica blog, which like me takes a pretty dim view of the whole left/right-brained thing
  • This one which shows two slightly modified versions of the animation side by side. Minor cues have been added to bias your interpretation of the image one way or the other, and they’re completely effective.


My god! Even in the cued versions, I simply can’t get her to go anti-clockwise. It’s confirmed what I’ve always known: relative to most people, I’m strange.

It’s the ‘big picture’ stuff that interests me. I’ve spent the last four days writing a report on metadata and video searching. It was a matter of pulling together all manner of disparate bits and bobs and weaving them into a coherent story. That’s the talent for which I’m paid.

And it also maybe explains why I can’t handle trivia like my bank account.

Comment by Edward the Bonobo

How might this reklate to field dependency and field independency?

Comment by Edward the Bonobo

Now that is interesting that you can’t even do it on the cued version! I find that when looking at that, if I move my eye from one cued version to the other, it takes a few spins before she starts spinning the other way. This suggests that the information provided by the cues is not so strong after all, but still, I find it very surprising. Were you close enough to the screen that the pixels in the cued version were big enough? Maybe if you’re sitting a way away from the screen it wouldn’t work.

Comment by Dan | thesamovar

Must’ve been tired last night. I can get thye cued version to spin anti-clockwise now. Come to think of it, I was only wearing one contact lens.

Comment by Edward the Bonobo

At my husband’s work all the men see clockwise and the women saw anti-clockwise…..I also saw clockwise. As clockwise lot are mostly engineers and that is interesting. The other women are more secretarial, office administration types….

Comment by Janelle

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