Watching 3D films improves brain power, study suggests

3D might be the forgotten child of the entertainment space, but new research has suggested that watching the ailing tech could actually make you smarter.

Found to improve viewers’ cognitive processing, it has been claimed that watching a 3D flick is as beneficial to brainpower as playing dedicated brain training games.

The findings, surfaced on the back of a Vue Cinemas and RealD backed study, showed that enjoying 3D content improved viewers’ cognitive processing powers by an average of 23 per cent.

The results are based on tests of more than 100 members of the public. Those involved in the study were tasked with performing a cognitive test both prior to, and after, watching 30 minutes of 3D footage. The variation in results showed the tech’s viewer-smartening abilities.

While watching 3D also improved participants’ reaction times by 11 per cent, those viewing identical clips in 2D saw just a 2 per cent spike in personal performances.

What’s more, participants wearing brain activity monitoring electroencephalography (EEG) headsets showed a 7 per cent increase in engagement levels when watching 3D footage.

Sadly, the effects of watching a 3D film aren’t longstanding. The brain-based benefits deteriorate to normal levels within around 20 minutes of viewing.

“These findings are more significant than you might think,” research head and Goldsmiths Associate Lecturer, Patrick Fagan said.

He added: “It is a fact that people are living longer and there is a noticeable decline in cognitive brain function in old age which can impair future quality of life.

There has never been a better time to look at ways to improve brain function. The initial results of this study indicate that 3D films may potentially play a role in slowing this decline.”

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A Vue spokesperson added: “Not only do 3D films offer the most immersive movie-going experience, but they can also provide these additional benefits to the brain – in the most entertaining way possible.”

Will these findings spark a resurgence in home 3D viewing and improved extra-dimensional films? Probably not, but those costly trips to the cinema suddenly seem slightly better value for money.