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Stereoscopic Viewing and Increased Vision Symptoms

"Stereoscopic Viewing and Reported Perceived Immersion and Symptoms" is a paper published today in the "Optometry & Vision Science" journal  (July 2012 Issue).

Conclusion 1: Stereoscopic 3D viewing provides greater immersion, but it can also lead to heightened visual and motion sickness symptoms.

Conclusion 2: If you are visually perturbed when watching 3D movies, take a seat on the last row.

Stereoscopic 3D displays heighten perceived immersion but also increase viewing symptoms for some viewers. The recently published study measured prevalence and magnitude of perceived immersion and viewing symptoms in stereoscopic viewing, and their relation to viewer's characteristics and viewing position.

"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" was watched by 203 teens and adults  in 2D or stereoscopic 3D while sitting at different angles and distances. Their prior viewing symptoms, as well as visual and physical discomfort immediately before and after viewing, were measured with questionnaires. They were also asked to report their perceived immersion feeling after the viewing.

Among the participants, 12% (after 2D vision) and 21% (after stereoscopic 3D vision) reported increases of measured symptoms during or after viewing; stereoscopic 3D viewing incurred greater and more frequent perception of blurred vision, double vision, dizziness, disorientation, and nausea than 2D viewing.

The symptoms were thus observed 75% more often just after a 3D viewing than after a 2D one. Would results be the same with another movie???

 3d-sickness 250px

3D Symptoms

Reported ocular and physical symptoms were negatively correlated to perceived immersion in 3D viewing. Older viewers (age 46 years or older) reported greater ocular, visual, and motion sickness symptoms in 2D viewing, and younger viewers (age 24–34 years) reported greater visual and motion sickness symptoms in 3D viewing. Sitting in an oblique position attenuated perceived immersion but also reduced motion symptoms in 3D viewing. Prior viewing symptoms in 2D tasks also predicted ocular and physical symptoms in 2D but less so in 3D viewing.

Viewers with prior symptoms in viewing TV and computer screen are not more likely to have increased ocular and physical symptoms in 3D viewing. Young viewers incurred higher immersion but also greater visual and motion sickness symptoms in 3D viewing; both will be reduced if a farther distance and a wider viewing angle are adopted.

Relief from 3D sickness

Another paper (in WisdomTimes last year) suggest that if you suffer from 3D sickness, you may consult a physician that will check your binocular vision and may advise you to go through a vision therapy. This may provides greater comfort watching 3D movies but also improves you overall vision.

About Optometry and Vision Science

Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry, is the most authoritative source for current developments in optometry, physiological optics, and vision science. This frequently cited monthly scientific journal has served primary eye care practitioners for more than 75 years, promoting vital interdisciplinary exchange among optometrists and vision scientists worldwide.


Read or purchase the original paper on Optometry&Vision Science.