Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
December 9, 2023 ·  2 min read

Do You See A Duck Or A Rabbit? Your Answer Reveals Something About Your Brain

In 1899, American psychologist Joseph Jastrow first used the now-famous duck or rabbit drawing to make a point about perception. According to him, perception isn’t just about what you see, but also a mental exercise. Now over 100 years later, we understand that what you see in this photo can tell you how creative you are. (1)

What Do You See: Duck Or Rabbit?

What do you see first in this picture: A duck or rabbit? Whichever you see, how fast you see it, and how quickly you are able to see the opposite can tell you how creative you are. This is where Jastrow’s studies focused on: How quickly you can see the second animal, and then how fast people could change their perception between the two. (1)

According to his research, the time of year also affects which animal people see first. At Easter, for example, people tend to see the rabbit first. In October, the duck is spotted first. (1)

More Studies Done

Neuroscientist Kyle Mathewson from the Beckman Institute in Illinois also did his own duck or rabbit experiment. For his, he first asked participants which animal they saw. Then, to help them to see the other, he asked them to picture a duck eating a rabbit. Once they saw the other animal, they had trouble no seeing it. In fact, they were shocked they couldn’t see it in the first place. (2)

“We’re allowing people to use higher level processes in a better way, in a new way. So it’s not that their eyes aren’t letting them see, or that your visual system doesn’t let you see a duck beside a rabbit, but that everything you thought about ducks and rabbits before didn’t let you see the duck and the rabbit. So we’re giving you a new lens to look at the figures.” says Mathewson. (2)

How It Relates To Creativity

What most of the studies have found is that people who don’t need a prompt in order to see both the duck and the rabbit are more creative than those who can’t. (2) What do you think? Were you able to see both animals quickly? Regardless of what you saw, do you consider yourself a creative person?

Don’t forget to send this to your friends and family to see what they see!

Looking for some more fun and games? Check these out:


  1. Duck or rabbit? The 100-year-old optical illusion that could tell you how creative you are.” Independent. Chloe Farand. March 24, 2021.
  2. Do You See A Duck Or A Rabbit? Your Answer Reveals Something About Your Brain.” Tip Hero