3D Films Can “Help Improve IQ and Increase Brain power”


3D films have got a bit of a bad rep. Tickets are far pricier than those of their 2D counterparts, the tech was brought over to the home entertainment space where it failed miserably and, despite many being impressed with what they saw in early adopters of the stereoscopic format such as Avatar and How to Train Your Dragon, people eventually decide to keep a hold of their money and watch the latest movies in two dimensions instead.

However, according to studies carried out by neuroscientists in partnership with RealD at a selection of the UK’s Vue Cinemas chain, there is reportedly evidence that watching films in 3D can help improve viewers’ IQ and increase their brain power.

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Led by neuroscientist Patrick Fagan and Professor Brendan Walker of Thrill Laboratory, the study showed the following results: 

  • Participants experienced a 23% increase in cognitive processing
  • Reaction times were improved by 11%
  • Watching a film in 3D gives the brain a “boost” that can last up to 20 minutes after viewing
  • Improvement in reaction time was five times higher as a result of viewing content in 3D versus 2D content


It’s not as if Vue and RealD don’t have a vested interest in trying to make you believe that watching 3D movies will suddenly make you more intelligent, but it’s not as if these results are without merit. Displaying a movie in 3D rather than 2D increases the level of viewers’ engagement (by roughly 7%, according to the findings of the neuroscientists), with this level of engagement inevitably causing viewers to maintain a higher level of concentration, thus giving their brains more of a workout than they would receive if they were viewing movies in their plain ol’ 2D format.

However, what is a little off-putting in regards to these studies are the press images of the researchers wearing lab coats while conducting their tests. What are the lab coats for? To prevent getting popcorn butter stains on their shirts?


It’s also questionable that, as Mr. Fagan suggests, the results of the study could “indicate that 3D films may potentially play a role” in the slowing of cognitive brain function in old age. So what you’re telling me, Mr. Fagan, is that if I sit down and watch Age of Ultron in 3D enough times, there might be an increase in the chance of me remembering where my glasses are when/if I reach 70? 

Nonetheless it’s still an interesting study that will no way slow the decline of sales of 3D movie tickets, because they’re ludicrously expensive and even if they did ensure that we’d be less likely to forget the names of our children when we grow old, it’s just not economically viable to keep forking out that hefty price of admission which is often somehow even pricier than it is to purchase the movie on Blu-ray.