TECH

Watching 3D Films Boosts Brain Function

21/05/2015 12:04 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 08:59 BST

Watching movies is a pastime that often gets a lot of stick primarily because most of us think it's a mindless activity.

Well we have some good news. New research spearheaded by neuroscientist Patrick Fagan from Goldsmiths university shows that 3D movies are better at boosting brain power than 2D movies.

brain function

Brain activity was monitored throughout a short sequence of the film "Big Hero 6"

Fagan conducted a two-fold experiment involving over 100 people watching Disney's Big Hero 6 in RealD 3D and 2D and found that people performed better at brain training tests covering memory, reaction times and cognitive function after watching the former.

The research, commissioned by Vue and done in partnership with the Thrill Laboratory, showed a 23 per cent increase in cognitive processing, participants' awareness and reasoning abilities, and a 11 per cent increase in reaction times - handy information if you're still trying to persuade your mate to watch Avengers: Age of Ultron in 3D.

If you've ever watched a film in 3D, you'll know that it's similar to watching real life. The only difference is that in some cases, it can be more immersive than real life.

Let's face it, watching Thor wield his earth-shattering hammer into space is far more physiologically stimulating than watching your cat run around in your lounge.

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So, it's not surprising that those watching 3D films were seven per cent more emotionally engaged with what they were seeing on screen.

Since participants were more immersed in the action of a 3D film compared to a 2D film, their brains were also more active and working at a faster pace.

the avengers 3d

The "Avengers" films have become some of the highest-grossing 3D films in history.

The second part of Fagan's experiment measuring the cohort's brain activity using headsets confirmed this.

Fagan said: 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.

Don't feel guilty next time you fork out the extra cash for a 3D film - you're just brain training.