Which direction is this woman spinning?

Posted by: Matthew Trost


Can you reverse her direction of rotation?

Cognitive Daily at ScienceBlogs took a reader poll and found that two-thirds saw the silhouetted woman rotating clockwise. About the same number were able to reverse her direction.

Those who initially saw the woman rotating counter-clockwise found it easier to reverse her direction — much as the Necker cube‘s orientation can be reversed at will. How did you fare? (Check out more illusions in TEDTalks by Al Seckel and Dan Dennett.)

Comments (4)

  • Sherry Hudson commented on Oct 20 2008

    Okay, can we give up on the naked woman stuff already? With stiff nipples no less?

  • Cristi Stoica commented on Oct 14 2008

    I explain:

    1. Why most people see the dancer spinning clockwise

    2. Why in fact she is spinning counterclockwise

    geometrically, using the laws of perspective

    in my post

  • Charlene Kwon commented on Oct 13 2008

    Hi Matthew, how wonderful to see your name show up in my RSS feed. The woman keeps changing directions on me, giving me a headache. Hope you’re doing well.

  • Floris Fokkinga commented on Oct 13 2008

    Judging by the shadow the woman actually is spinning to the front on the left side. If that’s clockwise depends on how one looks at it, I think.