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The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions$
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Arthur G. Shapiro and Dejan Todorovic

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199794607

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794607.001.0001

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The Kayahara Silhouette Illusion

The Kayahara Silhouette Illusion

Chapter:
(p.582) Chapter 81 The Kayahara Silhouette Illusion
Source:
The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions
Author(s):

Nikolaus F. Troje

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794607.003.0081

Since it was first published online by Japanese artist Nobuyuki Kayahara, the spinning silhouette of a young girl (the spinning dancer illusion) has been reposted on countless websites where it serves as an eye-catcher that lures users into clicking their way toward different forms of commercial advertisements. Spinning about a vertical axis, the perception of the figure is bistable: it can be seen as either spinning clockwise or counterclockwise, with the former interpretation apparently dominating the latter. This asymmetry generated a number of weird theories about brain laterality that further contributed to the popularity of the Kayahara silhouette on the Internet. These theories are obviously not backed by any serious research, but the animation is in fact a puzzling visual illusion. Primarily based on depth ambiguity, it employs the viewing-from-above bias and offers a number of sophisticated perceptual conflicts.

Keywords:   silhouette, spinning dancer illusion, Kayahara, depth ambiguity, bistability, viewing-from-above bias

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