3D Film Cures a Man of Stereo Blindness


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3D Movies have sparked a rabid debate polarizing film fans from drooling for more, to aggressively spewing bile at it. What makes the debate even more interesting is that both sides tend to have very valid points.

But this is something I don’t think either side would have predicted. A man with a visual impairment inadvertently found himself “cured” of the condition after a 3D movie rebooted his brain to see differently.

67 Year old Bruce Bridgeman from Santa Cruz, California suffers from a visual condition called stereoblindness – the process in which the brain translates depth based on the combined images received by two eyes (or in stereo.) To Bruce, the details around him simply blended into their backgrounds. He learned to deal with seeing the world in 2D patterns as he has never experienced it any other way.

But after viewing Martin Scorsese’s 3D film Hugo this past February, his brain appears to have reprogrammed itself and he was suddenly experiencing the world in staggering 3D!

At first he thought his premium 3D ticket was a waste of money considering his condition, but shortly into the opening credits he was stunned by how vivid and detailed the floating text and backgrounds appeared. But while he might have thought this was some side affect of his condition and the 3D glasses, the 3D experience didn’t stop when the movie ended.

Bruce now sees in full depth of three dimensions and is able to see as anyone without the condition would. Imagine after 67 years of understanding the world through stereoblind eyes, and to suddenly be able to process depth and see details he previously could not? I don’t know if I could describe the emotion he must have been feeling, but it was probably pretty overwhelming.

Visual therapy is one way that doctors deal with steroblindness, and in some cases the condition can be limited or compensated by re-training the brain to process what it is seeing. Speculation says that after the initial 3D trick the cinema glasses played on his brain, the sensation stuck with him for the duration of the film. While uncommon, the relatively brief therapy session was a breakthrough for Bruce.

I bet he does not regret his choice to see a 3D film that night!

[Via | Eye Picture Via Bigstockphoto.com]







10 Responses to 3D Film Cures a Man of Stereo Blindness

  1. The brain cells responsible for stereo vision develop very young in life. Also, they do not suddenly 'turn on' past a person's teens. If he has truly never had stereo vision, those cells have never developed and he did not suddenly develop them and then the ability to see 3D.
    What is more likely is that they in fact did develop as a child, and he did for a time in his life see in true 3D, but for one reason or another he stopped paying enough cortical attention to depth to actually perceive it. This could be from anything, such as PTSD, drug use, ADD, depression and other sources (not to say he has any of these).
    If anyone would like to refute my claims, my only defense is I am an Optometrist, and I call, as Bob above says, shenanigans.

  2. Im not a Doctor, but to rewire the brain to see 3D in 2 hours sound strange…
    the experiment were you were glasses that turn world upside down it take about 14 days before it is fliped, so when removing the glasses after 14 days it take another 14 days to re-flip the world.. so if this dude did that kind of rewiring in 2 hours… he got some fast acting Brainzzz inside that head of his…

    would like to see a Doctor look at this and "document" it enough to be published.

  3. sounds like people who start with stereo vision and lose one eye but can still see the world in 3d. their brains can comprehend the depth of field and compensate for the lack of stereo vision. makes sense. his brain just needed another perspective limitation to push it in the right direction.

    • As someone who cannot see in 3-D, apparently it's hereditary since none of my siblings can see it either, it's a weird "disability" to overcome. The Vewifinder was lost on me as a child & it took me LONG time to learn how to parallel park a car. I have overcome it though & am a very good judge of distance. I think in the 45 years I've lived, my brain has compensated. I loathe to spend $20 for a ticket to a 3D movie to see if I'll get my spacial ability back though. Plus, skepticism kicks in….

  4. I cannot see in 3-d, and I suppose many others who have crossed eyes share in this problem. I get glasses with prisms in the lenses to be able to have my eyes both focus on the same point- the first time I put them on I was amazed at seeing depth for the first time ever. However nothing was reprogrammed- taking them of returns the world to the same flat state I always have seen it in. I chalk up my skill in photography to the fact that I see the entire world in 2-d already, and i just frame it and hit the shutter….