No stereo vision but I can see the 3D effect in 3D movies ??

I had a turn in my eyes when young - an attempt was made to correct this with glasses, which was not fully successful. I've had no surgery, and still have eyes which look at different points.

I can't see the 3D images in the Magic Eye books, I have trouble parallel parking, and I gave up flying a paraglider partly because I was so nervous flying with others (not being able to judge my position in the air in relation to them), and so bad at judging where I was going to land.

But last year I asked my optometrist to give me glasses which would force both eyes to focus on the same point. He was very sceptical they would do anything for me, and repeated the line that 'the brain can't process stereo information as an adult if you couldn't as a child'. I've also been doing some work myself with the Brock string and red-green filters. But as far as I could tell I'd been making no progress towards stereo vision.

Then a couple of weeks ago I took my son to see a 3D movie. I put the 3D glasses on over my eyeglasses, and to my surprise I saw the movie in 3D (it was 'Puss in Boots').

I don't understand why I can see a movie in 3D, but not real life. I assume a 3D movie is not 'real' 3D and somehow I can see it. Or, it may be a sign I am getting some stereo vision?

If anyone has explanations or similar experiences I'd love to hear them.

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I had a somewhat similar experience a couple of months ago when I went to the Pina Bausch movie directed by Wim Wenders. (Here is a link to it: I had planned to meet up with a friend to go there and unbeknownst to me it was 3D. I didn't think I could see 3D and given that my only experiences of it were in the olden days with the colored lenses, I also was afraid it might make me sick even to try. But I decided to give it a chance and put on the bulky glasses and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could see the movie itself just fine with no blur or queasiness. I did not get any sense of depth except for in two scenes that both had very rapid forward movement coming right up toward the center of the screen. One of these scenes, I believe, showed streetcars on an overhead railway coming straight at you and I practically jumped out of my seat because the effect was so strong. My friend said that it was a particularly strong and pronounced 3D effect just then.  I am also very curious about whether and how I will experience 3D in an IMAX and so I plan to go soon.  

This is referenced elsewhere on the forum, but in case anyone missed it, here is an article on the BBC Future site about how a man's stereo vision was switched on permanently after watching the 3d movie 'Hugo':

How a movie changed one man’s vision forever

I just read the article ... amazing! ... and very exciting. We live in changing times, changing for the better!

What pleases me most is that the movie makers are aware of monocular depth cues and use them to enhance the stereo experience. We strabbies are relying on them to navigate through space every waking hour. So this means there's a part of the stereo experience that we experience, even if we dont' see space. The neat thing is I believe some synergy is going on, in that the exaggerated monocular cues prep us to actually see space ... pretty cool.

And kudos to Dr. Press for adding some great insights about VT in the article.

Lynda and others,

not sure if you've seen this (and if you haven't you're gonna love it!),

a whole essay was born out of this post:

On Being Stereoblind in an Era of 3D Movies

Cynthia Freeland
University of Houston

Where's the "like" button? Great job Cynthia! and thanks Emanuele for finding and sharing. I really like the info on Rembrandt.

you're welcome ;-)

I was told that I had no binocular vision cells in brain by various doctors and that despite surgery to correct the appearance of my eyes I would always be stereoblind. And I thought that was the case, until I saw Avatar 3D at the cinema and objects started flying out of the screen at me! I now see as many 3D movies as I can (note that I have never seen this effect or any degree of it in my normal vision).Some people are suggesting this is down to the cinema environment, or the polarisation, etc. I recently discovered however that I could see a powerful 3D effect when looking at old school anaglyph 3d images, object looks solid, with planes of tangible space between them using blue/green glasses. I feel like some 3D object are reaching out from the screen to such a degree they are almost touching my nose! Therefore I can't believe it's just down to the cinema exeprience - there must be some other effect that is engaging these binocular cells in the brain... it seems the cells that I was told had 'whithered and died' as a child are just waiting there to be used.

Hi Andy,

do you have or planning to get a 3D TV or monitor? I'm learning Android programming for some making amblyopia related games, I wonder if you're interested.

I posted a link to lots of stereograms here.

Not at the moment, but I was wondering if IPad and tablets could be used for 'at home' vision training?

Recently they've publicized an app for iPod (and probably any other iDevices) that's been developed at the university of Auckland. Not sure when and where that'll be available.

I'm not a fan of small screens because of the role of peripheral vision.

A 10'' tablet should be a minimum. I target Android.

By the way. there's a Tetris game also here:

Interesting products, thanks!

The book EyeTricks I've ordered has just arrived!

About 200 pages of hi-res stereograms, yum!



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