March 26, 2009, 2:46 pm
Innie or Outie?
By Kim Looney
Our Creative Director noticed something peculiar about the photo of Tenoumer Crater in Mauritania taken January 24, 2008, found on boston.com (NASA, Jesse Allen, NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team). The crater didn’t look crater-like; it looked like circle-shaped valley or like a cookie-cutter impression in some dough. After some experiments he discovered that if the crater is rotated 180 degrees, it looks like a crater should. Is it the lighting? Do we presume that light by default comes from the top of a picture? When he placed a second crater on the screen that could be rotated 360 degrees the interactions between the two began to get very interesting. The rotatable crater began to influence our perception of the stable crater. So we made an interactive movie to let you try for yourself. Sometimes you’ll need to look away from the screen to “flip” the image/s after rotation. See what your own experiences are!
Yes, the brain assumes that light comes from the upper-left, if it has no other information.
Where is the sun?
Sun J Perona P
Nature neuroscience 1(3):183-4, 1998
Posted by Harlan on March 26, 2009 at 4:48 pm