Dr. Bruce Bridgeman, a 67-year-old neuroscientist at the University of California in Santa Cruz, grew up nearly stereo-blind. He didn’t have a true perception of 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 says. “For everybody else, the bird jumped out. But to me, it was just part of the background.”
And after 67 years, his life was changed forever when he and his wife bought tickets to Martin Scorsese’s film Hugo in 3D. At the time he thought it was a waste of money. That was until the lights went down and the film started. Characters leapt from the screen in a way he’d never experienced before. After the movie was over, the experience didn’t stop.
For the first time, Bridgeman saw a lamppost standing out from the background. Trees, cars and people looked more alive and more vivid than ever. And, remarkably, he’s seen the world in 3D ever since that day. “Riding to work on my bike, I look into a forest beside the road and see a riot of depth, every tree standing out from all the others,” he says. Something had happened. Some part of his brain had awakened.