Research Abstract

Degelman, D., & Rosinski, R. R. (1979). Motion parallax and children’s distance perception. Developmental Psychology, 15, 147-152.


The effectiveness of motion parallax for relative and absolute distance judgments was studied using second-, fourth-, and sixth-grade children and college adults. Two targets were viewed either monocularly with a fixed head, monocularly with head movements providing motion parallax, or binocularly with head movements providing motion parallax. The subjects adjusted the distance of a comparison rod to match the perceived distance of the target, or simply indicated which was nearer. For absolute judgments, accuracy was not affected by age level of the subjects; however, a developmental decrease in the variability of judgment was observed. There were no grade effects for relative judgments. For both judgments, the addition of motion parallax information increased accuracy. These results indicate that children are capable of registering array velocity information for distance. The ability to register self-movement or to integrate self-movement and array motion in the perception of absolute distance may account for the observed developmental changes.