We have a winner!

January 4, 2010 • 2:20 pm

Oy vey — I didn’t think it would be this easy.  The name of Pinker’s bear is


I completely forgot that I gave this name during the last bear contest.  But SeanK didn’t forget, so he’s the winner.

What I hoped would happen is that some sleuthing would reveal that Pinker uses an image of Wilfred every year to demonstrate the “Magic Eye” phenomenon to Harvard undergraduates.  During the lecture, Pinker mentions that Wilfred does not find this display funny:

Fig. 1.  Wilfred. You can see him in 3-D!

16 thoughts on “We have a winner!

  1. What’s the object in the lower left?

    This is pretty busy as far as autostereograms go, even after I managed to see it I couldn’t tell what it was depicting until I read the comments.

  2. I’m another for whom these things are and always have been (metaphorically) opaque. At least in my case I know why–surgery for amblyopia at a young age (and/or the amblyopia itself) causes me to very strongly favor one eye. My depth perception (and consequent batting average) sucks as well.

    1. I had a brilliant student (now a professor in his own right, who not only was treated surgically for amblyopia as a (late) child, but then became an amateur boxing champion (yes, I suspect he took more shots to the head than would be normal). When he joined my lab, he could not “see” these stereograms, and declaimed the rest of us as “nuts”. But, over time, and extensive instruction, he began, despite the amblyopia, to ”see” the depth images—to the point that we are confident he can “see” them: we present new (to him)stereograms and he reports the (3d) images immediately.

      1. I sympathize with your student. While I can “get” typical optical illusions and do a fair 3D manipulation in my head, I’ve a hard time with any type of unassisted 3D technique.

        OTOH it took me decades before I suddenly could spit without having to put my body in it. Yes, I know – but the child in me felt restituted.

        [Now if I only could learn how to whistle…]

  3. Oddly, I usually find these images simple to “see”, but not this one. I suspect I am jumping one sub-image too many (as in the bar urinal): I get depth, but it makes no visual sense.

    1. I am replying to my own comment: try as I might, I get very clear depth, and not much else. Planes of objects, but nothing clear about what they depict (despite the hints). Is this really as bad a stereogram as I think it is? I have simple programs that can do better than this with virtually any cover image.

      1. I don’t know if I am seeing everything or with the correct depth so I would like to know if others see it differently.

        So, as a general description to get started, I see lots of teddy bears, there is some overlap but, basically six rows of six to eight bears per row. I don’t know which row would be easiest to see and I don’t remember what I was seeing before being able to see the bears so, I will start with the bottom row. Oh, and the background for the whole picture is gold and black swirl or circle shapes. So, along the very bottom there are brown circles, the shading is slightly different for most circles, there are 17 of them, those are the footpads for the bottom row of bears (the first (left side) bear has only one as its other foot pad is cutoff by the edge of the picture). The body and ears of these bears are purple. This row of bears only has one hand pad showing as the other is hidden behind a chainsaw (silver/gray) looking object which is placed vertically across the bear’s chest and extends about a bear width beyond the left side of the bear. The muzzle is the same round brown shape as the hand and foot pads, with the small (one black dot) nostrils placed at the top-center of the muzzle which is just below the white and black eyes.

        There is a row of blue-green bears directly behind the purple ones in that bottom row. I would suggest switching your concentration between the blue-green and the purple while trying to recognize the teddy bear shapes.

        A possibly helpful additional hint: The blue-green bear’s ears almost blend in with the heads while the purple bears ears are more prominent. And, the blue-green bears aren’t as well defined and do not show arms or legs (remember blue-green bears are behind (and offset in various directions) purple ones).

  4. I have to agree with Dr.John R. Vokey. Although I have no problem seeing the depths in these type of pictures this one seems to be two feet and lots of disconnected lines.

  5. On the top row, I see Gonzo wielding a chainsaw in a threatening manner. At his feet is a dreadfully injured brown teddy bear.
    Below that is a row of blue teddy bears, looking afraid, but curiously unharmed. Next is a row of Evil Green teddy bears, wielding chainsaws. They have brutally removed the feet of the red teddy bears in the next row. Below that is a row of brown teddy bears wielding chainsaws. Finally, another row of Gonzos with chainsaws.

    This is by far the hardest autostereogram I have encountered. Most autostereograms come quite easily to me. If you wanted to demonstrate the effect to someone unfamiliar with it, this image is by far the worst you could choose. (The shark on the wikipedia page is a distant second.)

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