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DEPTH PERCEPTION

Depth perception refers to the ability of our eye and brain to add a third
dimension, depth, to all visual perceptions, even though images projected on the retina
are in only two dimension, height and width. The cues for depth perception are divided
into two major classes: binocular and monocular.

Binocular depths cues depend on the movement of both eyes include


convergence and retinal disparity. The doctor usually asks us to follow the end of the
finger as she holds it a few feet away and then slowly moves it closer until it touches our
noise, when we have an eye exam. This is test for convergence, which is referring to a
binocular cue for depth perception based on signals sent from muscles that turn the eyes.
To focus on near or approaching objects, these muscles turn the eyes inward, toward the
nose. The brain uses the signals sent by these muscles to determine the distance of the
object.

Retina disparity is that depend on the distance between the eyes. Because of
their different position, each eye receives a slightly different image. The different
between the right and left eyes’ image is the retina disparity to mean a distant object. The
brain interprets a large retinal disparity to mean a close object and a small retinal
disparity to mean a distant object.

Beside this, monocular depth cues are produced by signals from a single eye.
Monocular cues most commonly arise from the way objects are arranged in the
environment and included linear perspective, relative size, interposition, light and
shadow, texture gradient, atmospheric perspective, and motion parallax.

As we look down a long stretch of highway, the parallel lines formed by the sides
the road appear to come together, or converge, at a distant point. This is convergence is
monocular cue for distance and is called linear perspective. Relative size is results when
we expect two objects to be the same size and they are not. In the case, the larger of the
two objects will appear closer and the smaller will appear farther away. Moreover, the
interposition is come into play when objects overlap. The overlapping object appears
closer and the object that is overlapped appears farther away.

Light and the shadow make up monocular cues for depth perception: brightly lit
object appears closer while object in shadow appear farther away. Texture gradient in
which areas with sharp, detailed texture are interpreted as being closer and those with less
sharpness and poorer detail are perceived as more distant. In addition, atmosphere
perspective is created by the presence of duct, smog, clouds, or water vapor. We
perceive clearer object as being nearer, and we perceive hazy or cloudy object as being
far away. For example, the man sitting on the chair and the edge of the cliff appear much
closer than the fog-shrouded hills and landscape in the background.
Motion parallax is based on the speed of moving object. We perceive an object
that appears to be moving at high speed as closer to us than those moving more slowly or
appearing stationary. We have discussed seven monocular cues involved in perceiving
depth and distance accurately. If we want to try some of these monocular cues, just hold
our hand over one eye and see if we can avoid objects as you walk around a room.