3D Technology's Effect on Vision

Inside Science TV

The eye-popping visuals of 3-D imagery is taking the world by storm. From 3-D movies to 3-D gaming and even 3-D television sets, this in-your-face entertainment looks like it's here to stay.

Researchers at the Vision Performance Institute at Pacific University are focused intently on how 3-D images affect our sight.

"When viewing 3-D displays compared to 2-D displays, the eyes do engage in more crossing activity, or convergence, and also they engage in much more accomodative changes, or focus changes," one researcher explained.

By attaching electrodes to the bottom eyelid, researchers use a method called electromyography to measure how much viewers squint while watching 3-D images. Squinting decreases the number of times we blink, which in turn reduces moisture in the eyes, creating eye strain.

But surprisingly, watching 3-D movies and video games doesn't seem to cause any damage.

"In the research we've done, we've seen no evidence of damage to the visual systems. Yes, it causes discomfort, but no evidence of damage to either adults or children."

As 3-D technology continues to improve, viewing and gaming devices may allow you to make adjustments to match your specific visual needs. This is how optical science is working to improve your view of 3-D entertainment.

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