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Necker

The Necker Cube is an ambiguous line drawing.

The effect is interesting because each part of the picture is ambiguous by itself, yet the human visual system picks an interpretation of each part that makes the whole consistent. The Necker cube is sometimes used to test computer models of the human visual system to see whether they can arrive at consistent interpretations of the image the same way humans do.

With the cube on the left, most people see the lower-left face as being in front most of the time. This is possibly because people view objects from above, with the top side visible, far more often than from below, with the bottom visible, so the brain "prefers" the interpretation that the cube is viewed from above. Another reason behind this may be due to the brain's natural preference of viewing things from left to right, therefore seeing the leftmost square as being in front.

There is evidence that by focusing on different parts of the figure one can force a more stable perception of the cube. The intersection of the two faces that are parallel to the observer forms a rectangle, and the lines that converge on the square form a "y-junction" at the two diagonally opposite sides. If an observer focuses on the upper "y-junction" the lower left face will appear to be in front. The upper right face will appear to be in front if the eyes focus on the lower junction. Blinking while being on the second perception will probably cause you to switch to the first one.

Humans do not usually see an inconsistent interpretation of the cube. A cube whose edges cross in an inconsistent way is an example of an impossible object, specifically an impossible cube (compare Penrose triangle).

Apparent ViewpointEdit

The orientation of the Necker cube can also be altered by shifting the observer's point of view. When seen from apparent above, one face tends to be seen closer; and in contrast, when seen from a subjective viewpoint that is below, a different face comes to the fore.

External LinksEdit

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