It's just using apple's built in functions in the wireless headers to detect and connect to an access point. These features are provided by any wireless card for it to be considered 'wireless' lol. These functions just capture Beacon frames and are able to send Authentication frames. All wireless cards are able to listen to these packets, you just rarely work with it's abilities. Monitor mode just extends that to capture the encrypted data being sent over other APs, or the unencrypted packets of an open AP that you are not associated to. But I can understand it being confused as monitor lol. I had that thought at first lol.
Edit: I just saw you said pseudo lol. I guess it depends on what you mean by pseudo. All this does is basically what the settings app does, but we can script this and interact with it instead of merely recording the output. And at this point I'm rambling lol sorry, I'm just bored out of my skull ATM lol.