Friday, November 15, 2013

The Spinning Dancer Revealed, Debunked and Hacked



after staring at it for a while, it appeared to be rotating in the opposite direction. It took some time, but it happened eventually.

The effect can also be achieved by covering the silhouette and focusing on the shadow after you’ve looked at the illusion. When you uncover it, the image will suddenly appear to be rotating in the opposite direction.
Optical illusions can tell us much about the functioning of the brain’s visual system. They work because the visual system reconstructs stimuli not according to how they actually are, but by making certain assumptions about their properties in order to “fill in the gaps”.
It is unclear exactly how this illusion works, but it probably has something to do with the brain’s representation of an ambiguous object. The silhouette is two-dimensional, but because almost all the objects we encounter are three-dimensional, the visual system reconstructs it as such. And the silhouette is not actually spinning – that is one of the assumptions made by the visual system. So, we perceive it as spinning in one direction one minute, and in the other the next.



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