enter image description here

When I saw it at first she did rotate to the right.

With some mental effort I could make her rotate either way in half rotations where it looks like she dances not rotating in my minds eye, but I can only hold that until she starts to rotate either way again. After a few minutes it looked like her leg twisted one way and her body the other.

What would a person see if their brain is equally balance without a dominant side? What does it say when a person has the inability to only see a rotation? Does this test have any basis if you are left or right brained? Does switching the direction from mental practice of build any part of your brain when you get to a point where you can do it more freely?

Does this picture identify anything about cognitive abilities?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You ask a lot of questions here. If you ask (and thus do not know) whether this test has any validity, maybe this is a good place to start? Maybe the answer to this question will negate some of your other questions or help you phrase them better. $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Mar 9, 2019 at 23:45

1 Answer 1


Without references, you state:

In this picture if you noticed her rotating clockwise you are right brain dominant.

We discourage asking questions on this site (or in science in general) which are based on unverified/referenced premises. However, given that this is a very common notion found online, I will try to answer your question by first helping you rephrase it.

What you should have asked is something along the lines of:

I have read online articles (e.g., on learning-mind.com) which claim that if you perceive the figure in the following image rotate clockwise it means you are right brain dominant and when you see her rotating counterclockwise it means you are left brain dominant. However, the mechanism behind this is not well explained. How does this test work and what exactly does it imply?

To answer:

This figure is known as the 'Spinning Dancer' and there is a wikipedia article on it. The wikipedia entry states that:

In popular psychology, the illusion has been incorrectly[6] identified as a personality test that supposedly reveals which hemisphere of the brain is dominant in the observer.

They link to NEUROLOGICAblog, "Left Brain – Right brain and the Spinning Girl", which explains that:

This news article, 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.

Instead, they explain what is actually going on:

The spinning girl is a form of the more general spinning silhouette illusion. The image is not objectively “spinning” in one direction or the other. It is a two-dimensional image that is simply shifting back and forth. But our brains did not evolve to interpret two-dimensional representations of the world but the actual three-dimensional world. So our visual processing assumes we are looking at a 3-D image and is uses clues to interpret it as such. Or, without adequate clues it may just arbitrarily decide a best fit – spinning clockwise or counterclockwise. And once this fit is chosen, the illusion is complete – we see a 3-D spinning image.

In case you have specific questions on what 'hemispheric dominance' is and how we can determine it, the article (to my understanding, correctly) mentions:

We also do have hemispheric dominance, but that determines mostly your handedness and the probability of language being on the right or the left. There is also often asymmetry for memory, with some being right or left hemisphere dominant.

I'm certain you can find more scientific sources on this by googling (I would recommend Google Scholar), or by looking on this site. At the time of writing, we have 12 search results on 'hemispheric dominance'.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.