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3D fries your brains

strong>When the missus suggested we go see Harry Potter's last stand I was well up for it. Love the scenery, Ron, Hermy and the fantastic Brit cast lead by the brilliantly interpreted Snape - it all reminds me of home.

But when she suggested the 3D version, I was nigh-on apoplectic. "You must be firking joking," I said - or something of that sort. "We'll come out giddy, disoriented, frazzled and I bet its more expensive an' all," I ranted.

And it seems I was righter than I knew.

For, new research suggests that, while 3D offers no measurable enhancement to the on-screen action, it does treble the risk of eyestrain, headache and boggled vision, a study - which has not yet been peer reviewed - found.

Dr L Mark Carrier, of California State University, told the America Psychological Association's annual meeting on Sunday that 3D movies do nothing to boost an audience's emotional reactions to films. They are no more immersive and make no difference to a viewer's memory of the on-screen action compared to plain old 2D versions, he reported.

Rather, Carrier's study of 400 students did find the subjects' complaints of eye-strain or headache increased by a factor of three.

"All other things being equal, I would say you're increasing your chances of having some discomfort," said Carrier of the 3D cinema experience. "There aren't going to be any benefits in terms of understanding the movie better or making the movie more meaningful, as far as we can tell," he added, according to a report on

Carrier got the students to watch three films – Alice in Wonderland, Clash of the Titans and How to Train Your Dragon – in 2D or 3D and fill in a questionnaire afterwards.

Choosing from a list of 60 words to describe their reactions to the films, the students reported very little difference between their responses to a 3D film compared to the 2D version, Carrier said.

"Many of us were like, '3-D movies are so cool, it's gotta do something'," Carrier said. But his study's findings suggested: "It didn't seem to enhance your memory at all. That's an unfortunate implication," he said.

Especially when the reported side effects were all negative.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was great, by the way - in glorious 2D.