Spinning dancer illusion; left brain vs. right brain hype?

Many of you have probably seen this animation of a spinning dancer silhouette from the Daily Telegraph, as it’s been making the rounds on various blogs and social networking sites. It’s a neat animation, but the blurb also states the following:

The Right Brain vs Left Brain test … do you see the dancer turning clockwise or anti-clockwise? If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.

Personally, I can’t think of anything that would back up their source-less assertion, and a quick literature search doesn’t turn up anything either. I’ve chalked it up as a yet another misinformative popular-press write-up, but was wondering if any readers had further insight.

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6 Responses to Spinning dancer illusion; left brain vs. right brain hype?

  1. Emily says:

    me and my friends just got into a huge screaming match over this, trying to make each other see each way. after a LONG time i was finally able to see both ways, but i have to sort of look somewhere else, picture her going the other way and then look back. I read somewhere that it’s not actually a dancer spinning, but a 2-D dancer going back and forth but our brains are programmed to see it as a 3-D object spinning, which has nothing to do with left-brain vs right-brain dominance.

  2. kevin says:

    Been making a game of this for over a year. I try to see consecutive reversals (every half turn). My record had been 5. Third try tonight it clicked. Saw over 50 times until I quit. Looked away couple of minutes and it was still automatic when I tried again. I can’t do it if i look at her head.

  3. Hi Neil and Emily

    I’m going to test the correlation between the spinning dancer and my right brain left brain multiple quiz at

    This may put the issue to rest!

    Best wishes,
    Jonathan Crabtree

  4. Gary C. Cunningham says:

    Surprisingly, the first four people I shared her with claimed clockwise rotation. How do you see her? I found that on first glance, she turned clockwise for me, and would continue to do so for as long as I cared to look. Then I found that if I started to read the first paragraph again, my peripheral vision changed her direction of rotation, which then would remain constant until I once again switched from central vision to peripheral vision. What is amazing about this test is certainly there can be a change in the direction of rotation, but when it happens, SHE ACTUALLY PIVOTS ON THE OPPOSITE LEG!

    • Srene says:

      Sorry but I have to agree with the comment that you don’t rellay know what TRUE brain fog is. I have Lyme Disease and I can tell you that all your little suggestions have no impact on TRUE brain fog. Of course eating better will help to some degree but will not eradicate TRUE brain fog. The condition you speak of is a rather vague way of describing a feeling that most people get on occasion and is transient. TRUE brain fog is 24/7, 365 and feels like your brain is on novocane.

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