Seeing the world differently!
Take a look at the spinning girl below. Do you see her spinning clockwise or counter-clockwise? At first I saw her spinning counter-clockwise, and found it impossible to get her to switch direction. Give it a try.
These kinds of optical illusions are always fun. What they reveal is how our brain processes visual information in order to create a visual model of the world. The visual system evolved to make certain assumptions that are almost always right (e.g if something is smaller it is likely to be farther away). But these assumptions can be exploited to create an optical illusion.
The spinning girl is not objectively “spinning” in one direction or the other. It is a two-dimensional image that is simply shifting back and forth, but our brains assume we are looking at a 3-D image and interprets it as such.
The cool thing about this illusion is that it gives us an opportunity to notice how our brain is wired (programmed) to interpret the illusion – do you see her spinning clockwise (one perspective) or counter-clockwise (two perspectives) or can you see her turning back and forth? (three perspectives).
HINT: By looking around the image, focusing on the shadow or the heel of the standing foot, blinking or looking away and back quickly can sometimes force your visual system to reconstruct the image allowing you to see it spin the opposite way.
The more you practice the easier it will become to alter the way you see the image as your brain begins to learn that there are many different ways of looking at the world.
Give it a go and let me know how you get on below: