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Double Vision as a Pictorial Depth Cue

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-03-27, 16:00 authored by Robert Pepperell, Anja Ruschkowski

 ‘Double images’ are a little-noticed feature of human binocular vision caused by non-convergence of the eyes outside of the point of fixation. Double vision, or psychological diplopia, is closely linked to the perception of depth in natural vision as its perceived properties vary depending on proximity of the stimulus to the viewer. Very little attention, however, has been paid to double images in art or in scientific studies of pictorial depth. Double images have rarely been depicted and do not appear among the list of commonly cited monocular depth cues. In this study we discuss some attempts by artists to capture the doubled appearance of objects in pictures, and some of the relevant scientific work on double vision. We then present the results of a study designed to test whether the inclusion of double images in two-dimensional pictures can enhance the illusion of three-dimensional space. Our results suggest that double images can significantly enhance depth perception in pictures when combined with other depth cues such as blur. We conclude that double images could be added to the list of depth cues available to those wanting to create a greater sense of depth in pictures. 


Published in

Art & Perception




  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)


Pepperell, R., & Ruschkowski, A. (2013). Double vision as a pictorial depth cue. Art & Perception, 1(1-2), 49-64.

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Art and Design

Cardiff Met Authors

Robert Pepperell

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group


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  • © The Publisher


  • en

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