Binocular vision refers to being able to focus on a visual image with two eyes. Humans, owls, apes and other predators have binocular vision while most preys like small birds, deer, rabbits and fish have monocular vision. Creatures that can see an image with two eyes can benefit from this ability although there are also some drawbacks they will encounter. Here are some of the pros and cons of this type of vision.
List of Advantages of Binocular Vision
1. Increased Depth Perception
With both eyes of a creature with binocular vision are in front and near each other, it results to a highly improved perception of depth. This is because a creature is able to distinguish how near or far is the subject from it. This is not the same in the case of a creature with monocular vision.
Another advantage of having two eyes that can focus on an image directly is being able to use only one eye in case the other one is damaged or blinded. Although this might not be easy at first and needs getting used to, having only one functioning eye is possible. This is because the eyes are located in front and it will still be possible for a person or an animal with only one eye to see what is in front.
3. Allows 3D Vision
Since people have binocular vision, their eyes are in front and are able to use both to focus on an image. The eyes are also located just inches apart from each other and consequently, able to see two different images while the brain translates the two images as one. This allows people to watch in 3D.
4. Visibility Beyond an Obstacle
This is explained by Leonardo Da Vinci when he said that if there is a vertical column closer to a person than the image or subject of focus, there column might block a portion of the image from one eye but that part of the image can be visible to the other eye.
List of Disadvantages of Binocular Vision
1. Decreased Visual Field
A creature with binocular vision might have the ability of depth perception but cannot enjoy a wider visual field unlike preys with monocular vision that can see from behind. Since the eyes are both located in front, a creature with binocular vision can also see in front and from the peripheral view but not beyond these two.
2. Limited Focus
The placement of the eyes which are proximal to each other allows for a creature to see an image and focus on a single image. This means that the creature will not be able to see another object from the sides or behind since the brain sends signals to the eyes to focus on only one image.
3. Prone to Disorders
Binocular vision can suffer from different visual disorders and anomalies. These include visual confusion, suppression and diplopia. Also, these anomalies can result to blurred vision, headache and eye pain, among others.
Binocular vision has more advantages than disadvantages. Although creatures with this type of vision do not have a wider field of vision, there are more benefits they can enjoy from having their eyes located just inches apart.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.