Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Myth about popular optical illusion debunked

Date:
December 21, 2010
Source:
Queen's University
Summary:
A psychology professor has found that the way people perceive the Silhouette Illusion, a popular illusion that went viral and has received substantial online attention, has little to do with the viewers' personality, or whether they are left- or right-brained, despite the fact that the illusion is often used to test these attributes in popular e-quizzes.

A psychology professor has found that the way people perceive the Silhouette Illusion, a popular illusion that went viral and has received substantial online attention, has little to do with the viewers' personality, or whether they are left- or right-brained, despite the fact that the illusion is often used to test these attributes in popular e-quizzes.

Niko Troje says that a reported preference for seeing the silhouette spinning clockwise rather than counter-clockwise is dependent upon the angle at which the viewer is seeing the image.

"Our visual system, if it has a choice, seems to prefer the view from above," says Dr. Troje. "It's a perceptual bias. It makes sense to assume that we are looking down onto objects that are located on the ground below us rather than floating in the air above us."

In the Silhouette Illusion, a silhouetted woman is seen spinning on one foot, her leg extended. The appeal of the illusion is in the way the woman is spinning -- she can be perceived as spinning clockwise or counter-clockwise.

Dr. Troje and his team found that a view-from-above bias (VFA) is what makes the viewer prone to seeing the silhouette in a certain way, not one's personality or whether the viewer is left- or right-brained. When shown the silhouette illusion, the study's 24 participants most often reported that the woman was spinning counter-clockwise if viewed from above, and clockwise if viewed from below. Thus, the viewing angle causes the difference in perception.

Watch a video demonstrating the researchers' findings at http://www.biomotionlab.ca/projects/depthambiguity.php

The theory can also be applied to other popular illusions, including Neckar Cubes, that are often used in online personality tests.

The study was published recently in i-Perception, the new open-access sister journal of the established British journal Perception.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen's University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Troje N F and McAdam M. The viewing-from-above bias and the silhouette illusion. i-Perception, 1(3) 143%u2013148 DOI: 10.1068/i0408

Cite This Page:

Queen's University. "Myth about popular optical illusion debunked." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101221163836.htm>.
Queen's University. (2010, December 21). Myth about popular optical illusion debunked. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101221163836.htm
Queen's University. "Myth about popular optical illusion debunked." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101221163836.htm (accessed July 27, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins