Tag Archives: monocular cues

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.

Monocular Cues

Jackie Harpe
Monocular Cues
Blog Post #2

Everyone goes on a road trip at least once in his or her life. At one point you find yourself staring out the window. Depending on where you are traveling you may see some mountains in the background; they are moving at a slower pace than the scenery closer to the car. When I went to Yosemite, California a few years ago, the mountains seemed to not move while the lakes, trees, and rocks zipped by. As much as I wanted to admire the mountains and their size and beauty I needed to remember to take in the scenery closer to me. The scenery may not have been the same in a few minutes. Although the view I had of the mountains were changing, the change was harder to distinguish than the closer scenes I was enjoying. This is due to the monocular cue of motion parallax. Motion parallax explains the difference in motion of near and far objects.

My grandparents live at the beach. The last 15 minutes of my trip there consists of the bay, boats, and beach houses. Although I have seen the same view my entire life, there are always small changes. Whether we go up in the winter and the grasses are dead and the bay is lifeless, or when we go in the summer and boats and jet skis are all out on the water while people lounge on their back decks. Across the bay you can make out the distinction of other towns. Although the towns are only a few miles away, because the distance is only because of water, you can make out the distinction of the hotels and houses. You can see the strip of sand and small figures that are people. The boats on the water and people on the sand appear to be the same size. The monocular cue, relative size, helps explain this. We know boats are larger than people but because they are far away they appear the same size. Relative size describes that objects that people expect to be of a certain size appear to be small and are therefore assumed to be much farther away.

Driving to Penn State, you can see Beaver Stadium and the different buildings on campus in a distance. They appear hazy, almost fuzzy. As you drive closer and eventually find yourself turning on a street on campus the stadium and buildings are more detailed. The reason why these structures are hazy in the distance yet detailed and clear closer up is because of the aerial perspective. The amount of particles in the air between where you are and where campus is distorts your view. Aerial perspective explains that the farther away an object is, the hazier the object will appear due to the tiny particles of dust, dirt, and other pollutants in the air.