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Proffitt, D.R. (2006). Distance perception. Current Directions in Psychological Research, 15, 131-135.

Distance perception seems to be an incredible achievement if it is construed as being based solely on static retinal images. Information provided by such images is sparse at best. On the other hand, when the perceptual context is taken to be one in which people are acting in natural environments, the informational bases for distance perception become abundant. There are, however, surprising consequences of studying people in action. Nonvisual factors, such as people’s goals and physiological states, also influence their distance perceptions. Although the informational specification of distance becomes redundant when people are active, paradoxically, many distance-related actions sidestep the need to perceive distance at all.

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