OK ! One for the Stereoscopists out there ! Anyone for a 3-D puzzle ?
This ‘wire’ cube (in mono) is a simple example of a ‘bistable’ image – we can see it in two completely different ways – but not both at the same time.
My best friend Tom, always a source of inspiration, wrote to me to ask if I thought that a stereoscopic version would also be bistable. My immediate reaction was that the stereoscopic versions would be completely stable, and shatter the ambiguity. But when I drew 2 stereoscopic versions – one for each perceived state, it didn’t turn out like I expected. I wonder what you guys see ?
Figure 1 is the view from above – which from the start I found easier to see.
Figure 2 is with the cube viewed from underneath.
When I free-viewed these, it was immediately easy for me to see the first version quite stable in 3-D. But figure 2, which I imagined would also be perfectly stable, didn’t behave as expected. I found that I was feeling some confusion, and the cube basically looked flat. I guess my brain was so reluctant to see the second configuration, that it ignored the parallax information coming at me.
In figure 3, I greyed out the rear edges in figure 2, to try to suggest to my brain that they were definitely behind. But it still didn’t work. So then I took the rear edges out completely, and, hey presto! Suddenly I could see without any problem the cube viewed from underneath. But the strangest thing was that when I now looked back up at figure 3, and even figure 2, they became easy to view as well!
I guess my conclusion is that the brain perceives depths in mysterious ways, responding to many different clues – light and shade, parallax, and also preconceptions ? What do you think . Tell me !
— oOo —
What a wonderful insight from a truly moderate and decent man. (Sigh….).
Sorry – I messed up – I posted only half of this very beautifully expressed train of thought from this highly intelligent and decent man. So it made no sense. This is the whole thing so please spare the extra 60 seconds to get to the end. In a 2020 world which daily makes me despair, this man is a ray of hope. He says what I would like to have said so much more clearly than I could. With thanks to the Guardian.
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