The Difference between Binocular and Monocular Cues

The Difference between Binocular and Monocular Cues

There are two types of visual cues: monocular and binocular. Monocular cues are those that are seen by one eye, such as form, lightness, and perspective. Binocular cues are those that are seen with two eyes like motion parallax. The human brain can perceive these types of visual information separately or together simultaneously to create a 3D image of what we see around us. This article will discuss how these two types of cue work in tandem to provide depth perception about our surroundings for both stationary and moving objects.

What are monocular cues?

The difference between the two

A monocular cue is a cue in a three-dimensional visual scene that can be seen with just one eye. These include form, lightness, and perspective.

What are binocular cues?

A binocular cue is a cue in a three-dimensional visual scene that can be seen only when the eyes are aligned at the same level and looking straight ahead (binocular vision), so that objects being viewed are actually one projection on the retina of each eye. There are two main types of binocular cues: retinal disparity or motion parallax.

The difference between the two

The difference between monocular and binocular cues is that the monocular cues are seen by one eye, while binocular cues are seen by two.

Monocular cues include lightness, form, and perspective, while binocular cues include motion parallax. Lightness is how dark or light something appears to be. When trying to determine distance based on the lightness cue, one should look for notable contrast in what they are observing. A good example would look at a black dot on white paper versus something with less contrast, such as gray on white or a black dot on some other color (i.e. green). If you were sitting directly across from the paper it would appear that the closer object is bigger than the farther away one because you could see all around it without straining your eyes as much when compared to something more blended in with its background like the second one; this is the lightness cue.

Another monocular cue is form, which refers to the shape of something or an outline. Form can help a person determine distance based on how angular an object appears in relation to their eye. The more acute it looks, the farther away it probably is. Another example of this would look at two triangles that are identical except for one being further away than the other; here you could tell that there was a difference between them because the one on the left side had jagged angles while others were much smoother on its surface, which shows that it’s far away and has some depth to it as opposed to being flat like the closer triangle, also referred to as front planes such as tables or walls.

Binocular cues are those cues given by both eyes, such as object overlap and interposition (or superimposition). When one views two identical objects placed side by side, they can only see one of them clearly because their other eye has blocked out an image because there is no light entering it since it’s closed up or squinted. If these two items were, then to change positions so that one item was behind the other, the object that was previously behind then appears to be in front of the other, and vice versa. This is known as interposition or superimposition, which is a binocular cue that works best when the distance between two objects is about 10 meters apart or less; this method can also work for determining distance if you were viewing an object from above or below eye level.

Another binocular cue is object overlap; this happens when there are several objects seen at once by both eyes. The more there are, then the farther away they probably are because they are piling up on top of one another. An example of this would look out into space at night and see all the stars; as long as there aren’t any clouds blocking the view, then you should be able to see a clear cluster of bright stars as opposed to only seeing one or two that are far away at a time due to clouds covering them.


When you look at an object, your brain can create a 3D image of it. The brain uses binocular cues and monocular cues in order to do this. Monocular cues are the shadows cast by the shape of objects on surfaces that we can see with only one eye or just using one source of light. Binocular cue is when both eyes work together, which gives higher quality images than mono-vision does because they have different angles of view.