How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 928

When you are looking at something and there is an object partially blocking your view (e.g., a fence or a railing), why with one eye closed does the barrier block your vision but with both eyes open you seem to look through the barrier? — DS
Your brain merges the images it obtains from your two eyes so that you "see" a composite image that is essentially a sum of what both eyes see. When you close one eye so that only the other eye is providing an image to your brain, any object that blocks your view chops a piece out of the distant scene. No light from that portion of the scene reaches your open eye, so you can't see that portion of the scene. But when you have both eyes open, the image observed by one eye can compensate for any missing pieces in the image observed by the other eye. Since the barrier you are looking through chops out a different piece of the distant scene for each of your two eyes, the composite image that your brain assembles from these two individual images will include the whole scene.

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