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3D Hurts Your Eyes 244

Posted by timothy
from the eat-your-vegetables dept.
sajjadG writes "After experimenting on 24 adults, a research team at the University of California, Berkeley has determined that viewing content on a stereo 3D display hurts your eyes and your brain. This can supposedly cause visual discomfort, fatigue, and headaches According to the article, 3D content viewed over a short distance (like with desktops and smartphones) is more visually uncomfortable when the stereo content is placed in front of the screen. In a movie theater, it's the opposite: Stereo content that is placed behind the screen causes more discomfort than scenes that jump out at you. With the explosion of 3D-capable gadgetry such as televisions and mobile phones, understanding just what this kind of technology is doing to our bodies may help us better use it in the future. The only problem is that technology tends to far outpace research, and until we get a better handle on its effects, we're more or less walking blindly into a 3D world."
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3D Hurts Your Eyes

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  • Hurts the brain? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ceiynt (993620) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @10:30AM (#36856474)
    How does this hurt the brain? Isn't it just the eyestrain that gives the headache? I thought the brain itself had no pain receptors.
  • Not 3D (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shawnhcorey (1315781) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @10:40AM (#36856532) Homepage
    That's because it's not 3D; at best, it's 2½D. The back side of the objects are not projected. There are true 3D projectors that create objects that are viewable from all sides (without special glasses). I call them 3D-in-a-box. You can stand in front of it and see things in 3D while somebody else can stand on the other side of the projector and see the other side of the objects (in 3D). I wished they stop lying by calling it as 3D but that's not likely to happen. :(
  • Re:24 people? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by impaledsunset (1337701) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @10:54AM (#36856640)

    What's worse: The article says less than the obvious can go. It doesn't say anything about the effect of jumps between scenes of different depth, about stereo strobbing effects that appear when using a small frame rate, the straining effects of overly dark 3D displays in some cinemas, etc.

    And with so little people you can't correlate personal characteristics of the viewers with the strain and headaches - I'm a sensitive person, and I get headaches from watching a normal cinema from too close or from an unusual angle, from watching a LCD monitor when the other lights are out, from using a closeup display (e.g. cellphone) in a moving vehicle, and I don't have any issue with 3D unless some exacerbating effects are present as well, which in my case would be dark picture or the screen being too close.

  • Re:24 people? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RobinEggs (1453925) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @11:15AM (#36856820)

    Why do research like this on just 24 people?

    Because you have to start somewhere. If all human studies used hundreds or thousands of people you'd have not even 1/100th as much research done. We don't have an infinite amount of cash or of decent scientists.

    That is NOT a statistically valid sample size.

    I somehow think the good people of UC-Berkeley realize that 24 people is a small sample. Studies of this size are usually done to suggest and design further studies, or because the premise is interesting but that particular team doesn't have the resources for a larger study; everyone who matters understands that these small trials rarely prove anything at all. It's just arrogant and ignorant to trot out sample size arguments in response to every single damn study with less than 1,000 people as if it proves you're smarter than every scientist and grant reviewer involved.

    Furthermore, sample size isn't everything. If I pulled 24 frogs all with 13 legs a piece from a lake that I knew to contain 150,000 frogs I would not think "that is NOT a statistically valid sample size", I would think "Jesus Sideways-Hopping Christ, somethings wrong with this lake!". It's quite possible to get data from a small sample that is quite clear and quite certain. Many amazing discoveries in physiology have been made with sample sizes in the single digits. They had to be reproduced with hundreds of other samples by dozens of other people to check method and provide absolute certainty, but they were effectively undeniable as originally published.

    The annoying thing is people dumb enough to read a study done on 24 people with any ambiguity at all in the results and go on reporting that it's a new discovery. Well, that and insouciant bastards like you who get off on thinking they're smarter than entire research departments.

  • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @11:30AM (#36856916)

    How does this hurt the brain? Isn't it just the eyestrain that gives the headache? I thought the brain itself had no pain receptors.

    Your overly literal reading of the summary hurts my wiener.

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