Right Brain or Left Brain = Nonsense?

by TD 5 Replies latest jw friends

  • TD

    ....That's the opinion of Dr. Steven Novella, neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine.


    Specifically in reference to the Spinning Dancer illusion, he said:

    "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.

    By looking around the image, focusing on the shadow or some other part, you may force your visual system to reconstruct the image and it may choose the opposite direction, and suddenly the image will spin in the opposite direction.

    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. Sure, we have two hemispheres that operate fine independently and have different abilities, but they are massively interconnected and work together as a seamless whole (providing you have never had surgery to cut your corpus callosum).

    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. But none of this means that your personality or abilities are more right brain or left brain. That much is nonsense.

    Further, how your visual cortex constructs this optical illusion says nothing about your hemispheric dominance, and is absolutely not a quick personality profile."

  • hmike

    Some other research I've read agrees that this Left/Right distinction is not so definite, but this is one of those areas of dispute in the field of brain studies.

  • Hope4Others

    Thanks for the info, although I did realize that there were pros and cons for this silhouette that is why it was posted

    under entertainment as a fun thing to try. Its kind of an interesting subject would you not agree?



  • SPAZnik


  • TD
    Its kind of an interesting subject would you not agree?

    Absolutely...I can't stop looking at the spinning silhouette

  • DoomVoyager

    Sorry folks; it's bunk, as is that statistic about how "you only use 10% of your brain". Yeah, how about I go ahead and surgically remove 90% of your brain and we'll see how well that works out.

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