Category Archives: Vision

Monocular/Binocular Cues

Christian Duncan

Psych 101 100.003



The psychology concepts that I will be talking about are binocular and monocular cues. These cues are what help us judge distances. Binocular cues are simply the information taken in by both eyes. Convergence and retinal (binocular) disparity are the two binocular cues we use to process visual information. Convergence states that our eyes move together to focus on an object that is close and that they would move farther apart for a distant object. A simple example of this would be holding your finger in front of your nose and moving it toward and away from your face. Retinal disparity states that because we have two eyes there are literally two images combing to form one, giving us our depth perception. If you were to cover one eye, you may find trouble catching an object tossed in your direction or even grasping objects close by. Knowing what a binocular cue is, it is evident that monocular cues are those where only one eye is involved. One of the most common six is called relative size. It states that when two objects are similar in size, we’ll perceive whichever casts a smaller retinal image as farther away. Interposition states that when one object is blocking another, the blocking object is closer. Arial perspective is based off of light passing through that atmosphere. If an object is further away it will appear hazy as opposed to the clarity of a closer object. Linear perspective is a cue used within art showing how parallel lines that converge show distance and depth. Texture gradient, also used in art, is a cue stating that we see less details of an object when it is further away. Although animals use it more than humans, we have the motion parallax. It states that closer objects appear to move faster rather than objects that are farther away. These are all ways that we perceive everyday life without even realizing it. They are what help us function in everything that we do from the simplest to the most complex of activities.

Perceptual Consistencies!

To see is to understand, and to see clearly through our eyes is an incredible concept. Most people would say that they are one of our main senses (the blind may respectfully disagree). Although, we often do not appreciate how much work that our eyes actually do for us day to day. Life would be much more difficult if we didn’t see in perfect HD, with clarity and consistency as we do simple things, like running errands or playing video games. It would be pretty terrible if one’s eyes were always out of focus much like a broken lens of a camera. Thank goodness for glasses and contacts! One of the most overlooked concepts about our vision is the mental processes it takes to see things the way we do. One common concept is called “Perceptual consistency”, which helps our minds to perfectly encode the images before us, and sort out possible conflicting sensory information that, once resolved, gives us an image that is picture perfect.

When I was little, I would look outside a car window and watch in awe as all of the trees and signs outside zoomed by me. I would watch and much of the time it made my stomach sick! When I was a child I also spent a lot of my life boarding planes because my family loves to travel. When on the plane, I would take my usual spot by the window and watch as the clouds stayed peacefully still and when our plane took off, the land thousands of miles below me, stood very still. Why did the signs move so fast and the earth move so slow? The answer lies within perceptual consistency!

Everything that I was seeing, kept its usual color, shape, size, texture, depth, you name it, no matter where we see it or how we look at it. Our minds even at such a young age, decipher these images and encode them in a way that uses a series of indicators to determine how to correctly view the object. There are three types of these consistencies: shape, size, and color. When I am in the car and I see another car driving on the opposite side of the road, I don’t think that the car is becoming huge and doubling in size every second, I know that the car is just getting closer. This is because of size consistency. It is not our eyes performing alone, but instead our brains, analyzing and making one aware that the car is just coming towards us, making it look larger. Without this gift of perceptual consistency, we would not be able to live the life we do now. This handy brain function is thought about that often, due to how normal and common it is for one to do it all the time without even realizing. However, there are hundreds of components to vision, and each of those components is extremely important to overall mental processes, especially with regard to how we see the world as we do.

Jadah Bird