children watching 3d movie film cinema glasses

3D movies double the concentration of children

Children who watch 3D movies have been shown to have double the concentration powers and cognitive processing after the viewing, according to new research by visual technology firm RealD.

The study showed that children aged between seven and 14 experienced twice the cognitive processing speed and performed better in testing after watching 20 minutes of a 3D film.

This is despite suggestions that attention spans in children have shortened in the last decade due to unlimited access to entertainment, including on-demand TV, gaming and social media.

A 2015 study claimed that watching 3D content had a similar effect to brain-training exercises.

Consumer psychologist Patrick Fagan, who led the study, said that the increased stimulation found in watching something in 3D ‘exercised’ the brain and improved performance in the short term.

“3D films can play the role of ‘brain-training’ games and help to make children ‘smarter’ in the short term,” he said.

“The shortening of response times after watching 3D was almost three times as big as that gained from watching 2D; in other words, 3D helps children process aspects of their environment more quickly. This is likely to be because 3D is a mentally stimulating experience which ‘gets the brain’s juices flowing’.”

The experiment saw children given a range of cognitive tests before watching 20 minutes of a movie in either 2D or 3D and being tested again. The results showed those who saw the 3D content reacted faster and performed better in the second round of testing. Mental engagement also rose by 13 per cent among 3D watchers.

Child psychologist Dr Richard Woolfson, who also worked on the project, added that “supportive parenting” and regularly listening to classical music can also aid a child’s memory.

“Children now expect to flit from activity to activity in a matter of seconds, leaving them struggling when they need to concentrate for longer, for instance, during a classroom learning experience.” he said.

“Setting a good example also matters - parents who check their smartphones or laptops during mealtimes or family activities shouldn’t be surprised when their children want to do the same.”

The same research team conducted similar tests last year on adults where it found that even older participants experienced a 23 per cent increase in cognitive processing, as well as an 11 per cent increase in reaction times. 

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