Understanding Depth Perception


Have you ever been on the sports field and not been able to fully judge how far away your teammate is? Or have you ever felt nervous while driving your car home because it seems like that car is really far away, but it’s actually right in front of you? If either of these situations seem familiar to you, then you might be experiencing common problems with what is called depth perception.


What is depth perception?

Depth perception is when you can see in three dimensions and also have the ability to judge how far away people or objects are from you. It’s also referred to as stereopsis. Depth perception allows you to accurately guess the distance between you and something (or someone) else. In order to have depth perception, you need to have binocular vision, which means you have vision in both of your eyes. Those with monocular vision (vision only in one eye) lack strong eye depth perception. Many people ask how does depth perception work? Depth perception works by your two eyes viewing different images and your brain bringing them together to form one single image. This process is referred to as convergence. This explains why those with vision in only one eye do not have great depth perception. An example of depth perception in normal life would be if someone is walking towards you, a person with accurate depth perception is able to tell when the person is about five feet away from them. However, someone with lacking depth perception is not able to accurately perceive how far away the person is.


How to test depth perception?

Some people suffer from depth perception issues for years without knowing. Many people don’t know if they have good depth perception or how to check depth perception. A visual depth perception test can seem complicated at first, but in fact, it is actually quite simple. Below you can find an easy, convenient way to test your depth perception online.


What causes depth perception problems?

There is not one answer, but in fact several conditions that can contribute to poor depth perception:

  • Strabismus – This is a condition where both of the eyes cannot be aligned simultaneously. One or both eyes may turn outwards, inwards, downwards, or upwards. This is commonly referred to as being cross-eyed.
  • Blurred vision – This is when one’s vision is not as sharp as normal and it makes it incredibly difficult to spot detail.
  • Amblyopia – This is a condition where one eye cannot focus as well as the other and is often called a “lazy eye.”
  • Eye trauma – Eye trauma is anything that disturbs or harms the eye. This prevents the eye or eyes from working as well as they should and can harm one’s vision.


These common conditions can all contribute to depth perception problems, or sometimes even a total lack of depth perception. People often wonder what does no depth perception look like? It can be hard to imagine how having no depth perception would affect daily life. A lack of depth perception can make sports, driving, and other everyday activities very challenging. Some studies suggest that in children, it can limit their ability to learn properly. Here’s one depth perception example: picture this, you go up to kick a soccer ball but completely miss because you can’t sense how far away you are from the ball. This could happen because your faulty depth perception told you the ball was one place while it was actually placed a few inches or a foot away from where you thought. If you feel you have any of these conditions or your depth perception is off, make sure to consult your eye doctor right away. Depth perception can sometimes be connected to a larger issue, so if you struggle with depth perception or feel you may suffer from one of the more serious conditions, it’s always best to look into it as soon as possible.