Right Brain vs. Left Brain

I came across this weird test. It displays a spinning silhouette of a dancer, and asks you to decide which way the dancer is spinning.
It claims that if you see it rotates clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain, meaning these would describe you: emotional, uses feeling, "big picture" oriented, imagination rules, symbols and images, present and future, philosophy & religion, can "get it" (i.e. meaning), believes, appreciates, spatial perception, knows object function, fantasy based, presents possibilities, impetuous and risk taking.
It claims that if you see it rotates counterclockwise, then you use more of the left side of the brain, meaning these would describe you: rational, uses logic, detail oriented, facts rule, words and language, present and past, math and science, can comprehend, knowing, acknowledges, order/pattern perception, knows object name, reality based, forms strategies, practical and safe.

First, I have to say this whole right-brain functions vs. left-brain functions is a very gross generalization, and there are many scientific studies showing this distinction is mostly incorrect, since complex mental activity requires cooperation from both hemispheres.

Now about this specific test… If you look away for a few seconds, and then look back at the image, sometimes, it changes direction. What just happened? Did my whole character change in a few seconds, or is this test stupid? This is my theory: It’s just a silhouette. At any given time you can’t really tell if the dancer is facing forward or backward since there are no features; her raised leg is simply going from side to side and the rotation is just an illusion created by our mind. If on the split second your eyes first saw the image, the dancer’s raised leg was going to the left, you would think that she was spinning clockwise since we are used to people looking at us; if it was moving to the right, you would think that she was rotating counterclockwise. From that point, your brain had already decided which direction the dancer was spinning and it would be very difficult to change your mind without looking away. It is NOT about whether you are emotional or rational, but the exact split second your eyes first saw the image.

I think that if after reading this post, you still believe this test can determine if you have a right-brain or a left-brain, then you probably have a no-brain.

p.s. Don’t say I didn’t warn you about the Y10K bug.


Inbar Shani said...

What does it say about you if you're mainly checking out her breasts?

Tamera Daun said...

Hehe, inbar. It means your brain is somewhere other than inside of your skull.

Yeah. When I first looked, I saw her turning counterclockwise. When I looked again, she was turning clockwise.

machinehuman said...

Long time since your last post. Nice to have you back. I've recently seen a compelling talk that used the right-left distinction in a nice manner (http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/229). I think that maybe this "ballerina" experiment is just TOO raw and generalizing, OR you're really a sensitive logic geek.

Mike said...

Hello again from New York! I saw her spinning clockwise.

GraceMags said...

when i was in college my professor showed us a series of other optical illusions like this. yeah, the ballerina shadow is basically just an optical illusion.

here are some of my favorites


People in the Sun said...

I'm with Mr. Shani. A naked woman spinning around... Who doesn't like shadow porn?

Caoimhin said...

Yep, she was spinning counter-clockwise at first then when I wasn't looking she changed. Typical! :)

Tigress said...

I've seen this. I didn't buy into which side of the brain was working. I've seen it move it either direction. I just had fun trying to get my eyes to have it start moving in the opposite direction. :-)

jOolian said...

haahahaha ... so true amigo... so true. keep the cerebral conundrums ahh’rawwwk'n hard ~julian

Kevin Goodman said...


I think I inspired him on this one.

I am left brain um maybe right brain. I think whole brain is a greater compliment.

ZarquonTheRich said...

I've had this poked at me before too, a couple of times really, and there may be some truth to the matter.
Although I think it's garbage that it can determine your personality, I find that my initial impressions of the spin varies depending on mood. Sure, I can circumvent that with (minimal)conscious effort but how you are thinking may affect your perception of the image ... but isn't that really the same for all things?

Sandra said...

I looked at it and never saw her move either way. LOL What does that mean??? hahaha :)

Descartes said...

Great shirt.
I like blog catalog, but don't spend as much time there as I used to.

totomel said...

how true... even those without brain can see the highlights of what you said unless the reptilian complex would dominate, the breast will be noticed most of the time.

Giorgio said...

I think she is actually rotating counterclockwise: look at the reflection on the floor.
It shows clearly that she is lifting her toes and spinning on the heel.
If we assume (absurd) that the dancer is rotating clockwise and we can see her back, the right feet appears to be completely leaning on the floor, because of perspective.
That contradict what we see in the reflection (of course assuming an horizontal floor, though it is not explicitly indicated).
In conclusion, the dancer must be spinning counterclockwise, QED :)