Man's stereoblindness cured by 3D film

Neuroscientist able to see in 3D after watching Martin Scorsese's Hugo

A man's eyesight impairment was cured after he watched Martin Scorsese's film 'Hugo' in 3D.

67-year-old neuroscientist Bruce Bridgeman had been stereoblind all his life, meaning that he was unable to perceive depth correctly, a condition caused by having a lazy eye which did not allow proper vision to develop.

But on seeing the film, he was suddenly able to see in 3D rather than in two flat dimensions.

“It was just literally like a whole new dimension of sight. Exciting,” he said.

He then realised that his perception of depth had remained after the film had ended.

“I was astonished to see a lamppost standing out from the background. Trees, cars, even people were in relief more vivid than I had ever experienced.”

Before this, he had had to rely on physical or visual cues to judge depth.

“When we’d go out and people would look up and start discussing some bird in the tree, I would still be looking for the bird when they were finished,” he added. “For everybody else, the bird jumped out. But to me, it was just part of the background.”

Visual therapy is often used to treat stereoblindness, with the brain being 'retrained' to process depth.

It's thought that Bridgeman's brain was stimulated enough by the brief sensation of experiencing three dimensions in the cinema that the sensation stuck with him beyond the end credits.