Psych M.D. - Retinal DIsparity

Term: Retinal Diparity
Definition (Myers): A binocular cue for perceiving depth: By comparing image from the two eyeballs, the brain computes distance - the greater the disparity (difference) between the two images, the closer the object.
Definition (alternative): The slight difference in the two retinal images due to the angle from which each eye views an object *
Contextual explanation: Retinal disparity is the slightly different view of the two eyes have on the same object since our eyes are a few centimeters apart from each other. When the brain compare and combine these two images, it provides an important cue for determining distance of objects. Therefore with both eyes open, only then we are able to have depth perception.
You can experience retinal disparity by holding your finger directly in front of your nose. Close one eye while looking at your finger with the other and then do same thing with the other. Your finger appears to move slightly with respect to the background. If you follow the same procedure with your finger further in distance, you will see that your finger appears to move less. This approves that the disparity decreases with distance.
Related terms and concepts:
  • binocular cues
  • convergence
  • monocular cues
  • depth perception

This is a video of a cat with no proper depth perception, it's so cute! watch
Psych M.D. - Retinal DIsparity - The Neuron
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Edited by: Yeri Kim

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