Is this a picture of [a] or [b]

I have noticed one of those pictures that, depending on how tricksy a mood your mind happens to be in, looks like something that it isn’t.

It is on the BBC news website (Under the ‘Also in the News’ section, and titled ‘Wii-type games linked to sprains’. I’d link to the article itself but then the picture would be too big and the effect probably wouldn’t manifest itself) …

Here is a picture of it on it’s own in case the above link updates and it goes away.

When I glance at it or see it for the first time (upon each visit to the site) I see it as…

A woman facing [my] left, holding her boob and a bit of fabric

But what it actually is (in case you are ONLY able to see what I’m seeing) is…

A woman facing right, holding her shoulder

In case you’re wondering why I spoilered those - it’s so you can look at the images without prior information about them and let your brain perceive them freshly.
I suspect I will be in the minority of people seeing what’s not there. :smiley:


It’s a shoulder, duh!

Yeah, shoulder. I can’t even flip the image mentally and get a boob out of it. Shame.

I saw a boob, too.

Er, I mean…I saw a woman facing to the left holding her breast.


Thing is, once you’ve seen what the picture is, it’s very hard to then see it as the woman holding her boob.

Boob for me.


I am a straight woman, and all I can see is a boob. Weird.

All I could see was shoulder.


Shoulder, although after reading the boob bit, yeah, I can see how one could see that as well.

I can see both, but I have to ignore parts of the image to see the boob.

Boob at first, but I pretty quickly saw it as a shoulder.

How could it be a boob? Where would the other boob be?

And what about the rest of the arm seen below the left hand?

How is anyone seeing a boob? It looks like an arm. There’s nothing round about it.

Totally not getting how you’re seeing a boob. Clearly a shoulder.

First thought on seeing the tiny pic; it looks like a boob but I know it’s not.

The hand is cupping it so the hand is obscuring the ‘roundness’. If you’re seeing boob you [r brain] seems to ignore the parts of the image that don’t fit the logic of a woman facing left cupping a boob.

Her hair (which is on her front) is seen as being on her back.

And when you’ve seen the right-facing shoulder-holding picture your brain has enough information to make it difficult to switch back to the left-facing boob-cupping picture.

In other words if you’re having a hard time seeing boob it’s because it’s too late. your brain has correctly interpreted the image.

The first thing I saw when I looked at it was a woman holding just under her armpit. I still see it when I glance at the photo, even though I know her arm is down.