Researchers at St Andrews University have found that, contrary to popular belief, it is possible to see in 3D with just one eye.
Dr Dhanraj Vishwanath, a psychologist at the university, said it was possible to experience vivid 3D vision simply by looking through a small hole.
The research, published by Psychological Science, has implications for people who have just one eye or difficulties with double-eye vision.
The study also has wide implications for 3D technology because it suggests there could be other possibly cheaper methods by which the 3D experience could be created.
Current thinking is that images from each eye, when combined in the visual cortex of the brain, lead to the perception of depth when viewing objects. But the St Andrews study suggests that both eyes are not necessary for seeing in 3D.
Mr Vishwanath said: “We have demonstrated experimentally, for the first time, that the same special way in which depth is experienced in 3D movies can also be experienced by looking at a normal picture with one eye viewing through a small aperture.
“Our findings and preliminary results suggest that our method could be used to allow people with misaligned eyes to experience what it is like to actually see in 3D.”