Dancing on the pin of a head

This here suggests I’m right brained. I can’t get the dancer to spin left.

Not sure where to go with that, other than nowhere. Maybe if I were left-brained I’d have a strategy.

Hat tip to Sheila Lennon… who [later…] adds this bonus link.

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15 Responses to Dancing on the pin of a head

  1. Mike Warot says:

    If you cover up most of the image with your hand, and only look at the head… you can get it to reverse… then move your hand out of the way.

    At least that’s what worked for me…. initially it was only spinning clockwise.


  2. Yule Heibel says:

    Well, the four humans in this family all see her spinning clockwise. Can’t ask the dog, he’s non-verbal.

    It’s kind of hard to believe that the clockwise crowd would be a minority, and that most people are fact- and logic-based thinkers.

  3. Flip says:

    It’s a prank. About every minute or so, the animation changes direction. Even the head tilt changes sides.

  4. Keith says:

    At first it was clockwise for me, then it spun counter-clockwise after that.

    Do you think the test description biased you to view it clockwise first?

  5. jeff says:

    I pulled the image to both the left & the right in safari and let it snap back – it changes direction.

  6. docduke says:

    Doc, I’m with Flip and with you. I see it spinning both left and right, and it appears to be a real change, not an illusion. However, I’m puzzled by some of the commenters. They want to describe it as clockwise or anticlockwise — but are they looking up, or down? There is no “clockwise” sense if you are looking at it from the side!

  7. The animation doesn’t change direction. After I blogged this, four journalists gathered around a screen to check it out, and some saw a shift, some didn’t, at different times, no matter what direction they were perceiving.

    Some people see it always one way, some find it easy to consciously shift perception.

    Without getting hung up on whether this has anything to do with a dominant thinking style, I’m trying to figure out how the perception shift happens. I almost always see her twirling clockwise, until suddenly she isn’t, then she flips back again. But I can’t make it happen. Some people say they can force the shift by staring at her feet.

  8. Doc Searls says:

    I’m pretty good with optical tricks involving the eyes. I can look at those stereoscopic pictures and quickly see the 3-d image. I can consciously force my eyes to rack in and out of close or distant vision rangefinding to make images diverge and converge. I’m expert at placing offset objects in my blind spots.

    Yet I can’t get the dancer to spin any direction other than clockwise. Interesting.

  9. Doc Searls says:

    So my wife and I just stared at the same image and we both saw her spinning both clockwise and counterclockwise, though she shifted for both of us at different times. We tried suggesting changes by saying “clockwise” or “counterclockwise” over and over, both when we actually saw what we said and when we saw differently. Couldn’t detect a pattern. Strange.

  10. Phil says:


    Watch her feet. Stare for a bit then blink. That seems to have worked for me. Yes she does have feet…Or didn’t you get down that far?

  11. started out clockwise.

    after about a minute or so, could get her to change pretty much at will. if i focused knee-high at the left border of the picture, she’d spin anti-clockwise, and then if i’d focus knee-high at the right border of the picture, she’d snap to clockwise.

  12. Chip says:

    Further old eyes
    Saw both
    No stopwatch on switch but would swear there is switch (somebody dive into the code)
    Watched several times, about 10-15 sec into…OK sometime not – browser issues seeing the switch???

    BTW – good that us old farts still notice the female form

    I think there are server issues

    Da Curmodgen

  13. Okay, weirder: This page (http://ofb.net/~whuang/imgs/spin/) has three of these whirling women that you can click on and off. I’ve tried clicking the outer two on, all three — they all change together, even if I’m only focusing on one. (I can’t see one going ccw and two cw, for instance.)

    My brain is running off without me. Disconcerting.

  14. Yule Heibel says:

    I think I “got” it (how to make it change). First, the image *always* moves clockwise at first, and looking at the head, I noticed that this meant that she “leads” with her ponytail if she’s going clockwise.

    So I viewed only the head (blocked the rest with my hand) and decided on letting the nose/profile be the “leading edge” (vs. the ponytail). Do that for a few seconds, and she starts to change direction (goes counterclockwise).

    I.e., basically you can force a change by focusing on a different “leading edge.” The rest then follows.

  15. tom matrullo says:

    Infuriatingly funnish. It started counter, then switched, then refused to switch. The knee-high thing did seem to get it to reverse direction. Only, every time it/she reverses, there has been a slight pause, a momentary hesitation. Making the change seem the result of some sort of programmed manipulation. Only, it’s now shifting as I squint at the left and right edges.

    Can’t see it going both ways at once, but now I’m sure I “know” it is.
    Like the old “rabbit or duck?” image – something requires us to subordinate one “aspect” or the other, but in fact both are concurrent.

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