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Perikles
2010-Nov-05, 09:35 PM
I have just discovered something peculiar, and wondered whether the phenomenon is experienced by others. Recently, there have been internet advertisements related to I.Q. which pop up every time I download any newspaper article, and which display an image of a dancer spinning, and the question is asked whether she is dancing clockwise or anticlockwise, and whether the observer can dictate which direction she is spinning in. Allegedly this determines which side of your brain is operating when watching.

When I start to watch her, she is always dancing anticlockwise. But when I concentrate on the image, I can indeed decide whether I want her to spin one way or the other, although clockwise is easier. What strikes me is that I experience a very clear sense of well-being when anticlockwise, and great uneasiness when she is spinning anticlockwise. They are very clear different mental experiences.

Is it just me? What is happening?

Hornblower
2010-Nov-05, 10:10 PM
I have just discovered something peculiar, and wondered whether the phenomenon is experienced by others. Recently, there have been internet advertisements related to I.Q. which pop up every time I download any newspaper article, and which display an image of a dancer spinning, and the question is asked whether she is dancing clockwise or anticlockwise, and whether the observer can dictate which direction she is spinning in. Allegedly this determines which side of your brain is operating when watching.

When I start to watch her, she is always dancing anticlockwise. But when I concentrate on the image, I can indeed decide whether I want her to spin one way or the other, although clockwise is easier. What strikes me is that I experience a very clear sense of well-being when anticlockwise, and great uneasiness when she is spinning anticlockwise. They are very clear different mental experiences.

Is it just me? What is happening?My bold for reference. Which one should have been clockwise?

CosmicUnderstanding
2010-Nov-05, 10:27 PM
I've seen this illusion before, it's a great one. I too can focus intently and change the direction but it requires a great amount of effort to make it happen. I haven't seen this illusion in a while so I couldn't say which way is more comfortable for me. But it's indeed very very interesting.

Van Rijn
2010-Nov-05, 10:43 PM
Here's a discussion about this illusion:

http://theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=27

From the page:


This news article (http://www.perthnow.com.au/fun-games/left-brain-vs-right-brain/story-e6frg46u-1111114517613), like many others, ignores the true source of this optical illusion and instead claims it is a quick test to see if you use more of your right brain or left brain. This is utter nonsense, but the “right-brain/left brain” thing is in the public consciousness and won’t be going away anytime soon.

pzkpfw
2010-Nov-05, 10:53 PM
(I hate those IQ test ads. One of them shows a standard colour blindness test - a circle full of coloured dots. The question is "what number do you see?". I have some colour blindness - and can't see the number in the test they use - what's that got to do with my IQ?)

kleindoofy
2010-Nov-05, 11:01 PM
It's rather simple to turn the so-called dancer (twister?) around just by concentrating e.g. on the more outstreched arm on the side on which it is receeding and imagining that it is coming towards one.

Unlike those so-called magic pictures, the transition from clockwise to counter-clockwise (not 'anti') is sudden and immediate, i.e. not gradual.

CosmicUnderstanding
2010-Nov-05, 11:18 PM
I NEVER could get those "magic pictures" to work. At all! I tried many many times for quite a while and never could do it. Must be a trick to them that I am missing.

Perikles
2010-Nov-06, 08:04 AM
Oooops. I meant I experience a very clear sense of well-being when anticlockwise, and great uneasiness when she is spinning clockwise. They seem to suggest that the ability to reverse her movement has something to do with IQ. but there again, as mentioned above they also claim the same for the colour blindness test. My question is really whether the direction of motion actually does depend on the side of the brain. (I haven't read the above link yet - thanks for that.)

Edit: now I've read it, and it claims this is all nonsense. This however doesn't explain why some people can reverse the motion and others can't.

Van Rijn
2010-Nov-06, 09:45 AM
This is an interesting illusion. At first, my perception was that it was going anti-clockwise, and it took a long time before I could reverse it. It was actually getting pretty frustrating, but finally, after looking far to the left of the image, and slowly looking back at it, I perceived it going clockwise.

The interesting thing was that I seemed to now be locked on the clockwise perception, and it was hard to get it to seem to go anti-clockwise again, sort of like changing a default setting. I finally managed it, and after a bit more experimenting it seemed to be a bit easier to get it to perceptually reverse, sometimes while looking straight at it, with anti-clockwise apparently preferred.

But a while later, after a break doing something else, I looked at the image again, and it seemed to be going clockwise. I'll try it a bit more tomorrow.

Hornblower
2010-Nov-06, 11:53 AM
I can get my perception of spin direction to reverse by focusing on her feet, especially the pivot foot. Sometimes I can do it by focusing on her head, but it is more resistant to change for me.

When I see a spin to the right (clockwise as seen from above), the free leg is her right leg in my perception. When spinning to the left it is her left leg.

I do not feel any difference in ease or unease in either direction.

Perikles
2010-Nov-06, 05:05 PM
I can get my perception of spin direction to reverse by focusing on her feet, especially the pivot foot. ...

I do not feel any difference in ease or unease in either direction.Yes, that is exactly how I can do it. But the difference I perceive in mental state between the two is puzzling, if as the cited article states, the connection between that and a particular side of the brain is nonsense (which I can well believe).

kleindoofy
2010-Nov-06, 05:27 PM
... anticlockwise, ... great uneasiness ...
The only great uneasiness I feel is when people call counterclockwise 'anticlockwise.'

Or is this yet another of those quaint separated-by-the-Atlantic-isms?

grant hutchison
2010-Nov-06, 05:53 PM
The only great uneasiness I feel is when people call counterclockwise 'anticlockwise.'

Or is this yet another of those quaint separated-by-the-Atlantic-isms?It is.

Grant Hutchison

HenrikOlsen
2010-Nov-06, 05:54 PM
I can get my perception of spin direction to reverse by focusing on her feet, especially the pivot foot. Sometimes I can do it by focusing on her head, but it is more resistant to change for me.

When I see a spin to the right (clockwise as seen from above), the free leg is her right leg in my perception. When spinning to the left it is her left leg.

I do not feel any difference in ease or unease in either direction.
Ditto for me, focus on the foot, make that turn the other way and the rest follows immediately and naturally.
Trying to turn the direction while focusing on the whole was harder to the point of failure

There are a lot of chirality choices in that illusion, I think I've identified at least seven, all reinforcing each other by being linked by the motion so flipping the direction is either done by refocusing on the foot or hand so only one choice has to be flipped, which then informs the rest automatically as the focus is brought back or you have to flip all of the choices at the same time which could quite likely make for a feeling of wrongness.

Van Rijn
2010-Nov-06, 08:54 PM
It is.

Grant Hutchison

And I usually say "counterclockwise" . . . except if I'm replying to someone else and am not thinking about details of word choice.

kleindoofy
2010-Nov-06, 09:00 PM
It is. ...
Finally someone who doesn't answer 'or' questions with "yes."

Van Rijn
2010-Nov-06, 09:01 PM
Focusing on a foot or hand doesn't seem to work for me, at least in any consistent way. Occasionally it will seem to flip if I'm looking at the image, but the best way for me to get it to flip is to look well away to the side of the image and then slowly look back at it.

wolfflair
2010-Nov-07, 04:16 AM
I have a very difficult time seeing her go any direction other than clockwise. I have been able to get her to spin anticlockwise a few times, by focusing on the reflection of the foot for a while. Then I can see her spinning anticlockwise, sometimes for a good while. But she inevitably returns to her previous clockwise motion.


Finally someone who doesn't answer 'or' questions with "yes."

You might have less of that problem if you include more than one option in your 'or' questions.

Perikles
2010-Nov-07, 04:23 PM
The only great uneasiness I feel is when people call counterclockwise 'anticlockwise.'I suppose similar to the uneasiness I feel when a word I've used all my life is somehow questioned.


Then I can see her spinning anticlockwise, sometimes for a good while. But she inevitably returns to her previous clockwise motion..Yes- this is my sensation also. It seems that the clockwise motion is a 'default', and the anticlockwise is more difficult to achieve. Why would this be? Does this point to some significant brain function, or could the image be doctored to produce the opposite bias?

adapa
2010-Nov-08, 10:16 PM
Maybe the dancer is just in a superposition of eigenstates.:D

SeanF
2010-Nov-10, 05:14 PM
Finally someone who doesn't answer 'or' questions with "yes."
That wasn't an "or" question, it was just, "or, a question." :)

Or am I wrong?

Ara Pacis
2010-Nov-10, 05:32 PM
It seems to switch back and forth for me easily, especially if I look at it with peripheral vision. I don't experience any unease, but I do see that the ponytail seems to flow contrary to the perceived motion in both clockwise and counterclockwise since the tip is leading instead of trailing.

Strange
2010-Nov-10, 06:38 PM
The only great uneasiness I feel is when people call counterclockwise 'anticlockwise.'

Or is this yet another of those quaint separated-by-the-Atlantic-isms?

I wasn't aware of this distinction before, it's not a word I have ever had to use when writing (which I am supposed to do in American English).

Perhaps you would prefer widdershins?

Strange
2010-Nov-10, 06:41 PM
Yes, that is exactly how I can do it. But the difference I perceive in mental state between the two is puzzling, if as the cited article states, the connection between that and a particular side of the brain is nonsense (which I can well believe).

Maybe your preference for one direction is because you read the (bogus) description and decided that direction was "better"? Or perhaps you just prefer the direction you perceived first?

kleindoofy
2010-Nov-10, 07:57 PM
... Or am I wrong?
Yes, errr, no, hmmm, maybeez like.

My "or" question above was not a classical "or" question. However, Grant answered it in refreshing way nonetheless. It's surprising how often "or" questions are answered with "yes" or* "no." *Please note that I didn't say "answered with 'yes' and 'no,'" which is another common error.

Some people even go as far as to think that "if" clauses constitute definite statements.

E.g., "if the store's closed, come right home," "no, it's not closed," "don't argue with me." I wonder in which direction the dancer turns for them.

SeanF
2010-Nov-10, 09:45 PM
My "or" question above was not a classical "or" question. However, Grant answered it in refreshing way nonetheless. It's surprising how often "or" questions are answered with "yes" or* "no." *Please note that I didn't say "answered with 'yes' and 'no,'" which is another common error.
Hmm, I thought you were being ironic - isn't an answer of "It is" (to a classical "or" question) the same as answering "Yes"?

BTW, I should mention that I agree with you on anti-clockwise. It grates on my ears, as well.

grant hutchison
2010-Nov-10, 10:02 PM
Hmm, I thought you were being ironic - isn't an answer of "It is" (to a classical "or" question) the same as answering "Yes"?
Compare and contrast:

"Is it or isn't it?"
"It is."

"Is it or isn't it?"
"Yes."

Kleindoofy's question had an explicit "Is it?" and an implied "Isn't it?".


BTW, I should mention that I agree with you on anti-clockwise. It grates on my ears, as well.No more, you may be assured, than "counterclockwise" grates on the ears of those unused to it. :)

Grant Hutchison

Perikles
2010-Nov-10, 10:25 PM
It's surprising how often "or" questions are answered with "yes" or* "no." There is nothing logically incorrect about this. My (mathematician) brother insists that the logically correct answer to the question "Are you male or female?" is (almost always) "yes" because the question actually means "Are you a member of the set of people including males and females?". I think he is further along the Asperger's scale than I am.

By the way - Do you consider this sentence to contain a definite statement? "If it is raining, the washing will be wet."

We shall be wandering off-topic soon....

SeanF
2010-Nov-10, 10:38 PM
Compare and contrast:

"Is it or isn't it?"
"It is."

"Is it or isn't it?"
"Yes."

Kleindoofy's question had an explicit "Is it?" and an implied "Isn't it?".
I see. Thank you. I was thinking of "Is it (this) or is it (that)?" being answered with "It is."


No more, you may be assured, than "counterclockwise" grates on the ears of those unused to it. :)
I'm sure. :)

SeanF
2010-Nov-10, 10:39 PM
My (mathematician) brother insists that the logically correct answer to the question "Are you male or female?" is (almost always) "yes" because the question actually means "Are you a member of the set of people including males and females?"
He's wrong. The question actually means, "Are you male or are you female?" The second "are you" is implied. :)

Strange
2010-Nov-10, 10:41 PM
There is nothing logically incorrect about this. My (mathematician) brother insists that the logically correct answer to the question "Are you male or female?" is (almost always) "yes" because the question actually means "Are you a member of the set of people including males and females?".

That is the grammatically correct answer in Japanese as well. "Would you like tea or coffee?", "Yes please". Which can be very confusing for learners.

ETA: This also carries over into many Japanese speakers use of English. Which can be confusing for people who haven't learnt Japanese. As SeanF said, if you want the sort of answer you expect, you have to be explicit about the implied question "Would you like tea? Would you like coffee?"

(On the other hand, language being what it is, in Japanese you can usually leave the pronoun out as it is implied. And often the verb. And maybe the object.)

Strange
2010-Nov-10, 10:42 PM
No more, you may be assured, than "counterclockwise" grates on the ears of those unused to it. :)

I am so used to it, I had never noticed the US and them aspect.

kleindoofy
2010-Nov-10, 10:54 PM
... We shall be wandering off-topic soon....
Soon?


... the logically correct answer to the question "Are you male or female?" is (almost always) "yes" ...
Let me guess: you added "almost always" after thinking about the answers you would get. Right? ;)

Btw, if you answer a waiter who asks you "coffee or tea?" with the logically correct "yes" (assuming you want one of the two), then don't be upset if he answers "ok" and walks off, never to return. After all, he has the information he wanted.****

"Do you know what time it is?" "Yes." ;)


... Do you consider this sentence to contain a definite statement? "If it is raining, the washing will be wet." ...
Only if you're talking about how things can get wet. Being conditional, it's not a definite statement about the necessary present or future condition of the laundry.




edit: **** written while the above example concerning Japan was also being written.

Ara Pacis
2010-Nov-11, 04:56 AM
Can you dry wash something? Washing would seem to always include a wet phase as a matter of course.

"Would you like coffee or tea?" is at its core, a yes or no question. The missing or assumed portion would be "Which would you like to have", and that could either be at the beginning of the question or a follow-up. Less-literal minded people make the leap of assumption as to the intent of the question as opposed to it's literal logic. Or, more to the point, it might be a hold-over from servitude protocols where a servant asks a master or guest of the master if they wish for something, and then expect the master or guest of the master to command the situation by expressing the object of their desire with an order.

Anti-clockwise grates on me too. I think of "counter-" as meaning "in opposition of" whereas I think of "anti-" as "in opposition of the concept of". Thus, "counter-clockwise" suggests to me a spin in the opposite direction of clockwise, while "anti-clockwise" suggests to me a philosophical stance opposed to the concept of spin defined by reference to analog clockwork mechanisms used for the anthropocentric measurement of time.

Perikles
2010-Nov-11, 08:50 AM
He's wrong. The question actually means, "Are you male or are you female?" The second "are you" is implied. :)Common sense tells you that the second "are you" is implied, but as a mathematician, he is quite right not to accept something which is just implied.


"Do you know what time it is?" "Yes." ;).The same brother is quite capable of this. (I'm not making this up) Once at home, the family was eating together, and the phone rang in the hallway. Brother went out and answered it, we heard him say "yes" and hang up. He came back in and said nothing. My mother asked him who was on the phone. He shrugged his shoulders and said "No idea, just somebody who asked if Dad was at home".

Jens
2010-Nov-11, 09:21 AM
That is the grammatically correct answer in Japanese as well. "Would you like tea or coffee?", "Yes please". Which can be very confusing for learners.


I think that's tricky, and it might depend on the situation. If I were on the street, and somebody suggested that we go to a coffee shop and asked if I'd like some tea or coffee, I would say yes. But if a waiter asked the question, it would be silly to say yes, because I'd understand that the person was asking for a choice. In English that's definitely the case. In Japanese it's tricky because a waiter wouldn't usually ask that question. I think they usually say "we have coffee, tea, orange juice. . . beer."

BEER!

AndreasJ
2010-Nov-11, 09:41 AM
Common sense tells you that the second "are you" is implied, but as a mathematician, he is quite right not to accept something which is just implied.

The same brother is quite capable of this. (I'm not making this up) Once at home, the family was eating together, and the phone rang in the hallway. Brother went out and answered it, we heard him say "yes" and hang up. He came back in and said nothing. My mother asked him who was on the phone. He shrugged his shoulders and said "No idea, just somebody who asked if Dad was at home".

When I was younger, I used to feel compelled to answer the questions people did ask rather than what I often did understand that they actually wanted to know. These days I just die a little on the inside.

Strange
2010-Nov-11, 10:58 AM
In Japanese it's tricky because a waiter wouldn't usually ask that question.

And I think that is where the confusion arises; English speakers thinking they can translate the "tea or coffee" question rather than having to actually ask a different question.


I think they usually say "we have coffee, tea, orange juice. . . beer."

Or just "what would you like to drink?" (or, perhaps more literally, "drink...?")

SeanF
2010-Nov-11, 03:40 PM
"Do you know what time it is?" "Yes." ;)
It's more fun to answer, "Yes, but not right now." :D


Common sense tells you that the second "are you" is implied, but as a mathematician, he is quite right not to accept something which is just implied.
It is quite right to not accept implications in mathematics. It is not quite right to do so in spoken language, regardless of who you are. :)

Ara Pacis
2010-Nov-11, 04:27 PM
It's more fun to answer, "Yes, but not right now." :D

Or you could quote Jackson Browne, "It's later than it seems."

I have sometimes answered questions literally. Usually to annoy people. But I had it drilled into me by teachers who made us learn the difference between "can I?" and "may I?"

The issue is, of course, context. Perhaps that is the issue with Asperger's: individuals are so particular about minutia that they fail to see the larger picture, and thus, the differing context: failing to see the forest for the trees.

kleindoofy
2010-Nov-11, 10:29 PM
... "Would you like coffee or tea?" is at its core, a yes or no question. ...
That depends on the situation and on how the question is accentuated.

If you are holding a tablet with only those two on it and ask the question with a voice drop at the end of the sentence, the appropriate answers would be "tea," "coffee," "neither," or "what, no beer?"

If you are pointing at a long list of beverages and ask with a voice raise at the end of the sentence, "no" would also be ok, along with "I haven't decided yet," etc.

Ara Pacis
2010-Nov-12, 12:11 AM
That depends on the situation and on how the question is accentuated.

If you are holding a tablet with only those two on it and ask the question with a voice drop at the end of the sentence, the appropriate answers would be "tea," "coffee," "neither," or "what, no beer?"

If you are pointing at a long list of beverages and ask with a voice raise at the end of the sentence, "no" would also be ok, along with "I haven't decided yet," etc.

As I said, it depends upon context and social expection and the ability to fill in the blanks. However, using strict logic or even boolean logic, "would you like coffee or tea?" is a yes or no question.

Strange
2010-Nov-12, 11:27 AM
However, using strict logic or even boolean logic, "would you like coffee or tea?" is a yes or no question.

But you can rarely use logic (strict, boolean or otherwise) to determine the meaning of a sentence in natural language. Grammar (in the widest sense) has its own rules. See also: idiom.

Perikles
2010-Nov-12, 12:57 PM
But you can rarely use logic (strict, boolean or otherwise) to determine the meaning of a sentence in natural language. Grammar (in the widest sense) has its own rules. See also: idiom.This is quite correct, and is precisely one problem faced by people with Asperger's syndrome. I only mention this because after several decades of existence I have only just recently identified that I qualify for that title (as does my brother who can't see the answer to "Male or Female" as anything other than 'yes'). It seems that this group of people are very capable of mathematical logic, but fail when trying to apply logic to a social situation, where the rules of grammar apply, not logic.

Perhaps that is another thread.

rommel543
2010-Dec-22, 06:08 PM
Ok, slight thread necromancy here but I just read an article regarding the silhouette dancer that is suppose to test if you're left or right brained.

http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/dancer-silhouette-illusion-explained-101222.html


For most viewers, the "silhouette illusion"— which involves viewing the spinning animated silhouette of a dancer — appears to be rotating clockwise. However, for a few, the image is turning counterclockwise. Online quizzes interpret the rotational direction seen by the viewer as an indication of his or her status as a right-brained, creative type, or a logical and left-brain-leaning individual.

However, the preference for seeing the figure spinning clockwise rather than counterclockwise is dependent upon the angle at which the viewer sees the image, according to a Nikolaus Troje, a psychologist at Queen's University in Ontario.