Reading Without Words: Eye Movements in the Comprehension of Comic Strips

Tom Foulsham*, Dean Wybrow, Neil Cohn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The study of attention in pictures is mostly limited to individual images. When we read' a visual narrative (e.g., a comic strip), the pictures have a coherent sequence, but it is not known how this affects attention. In two experiments, we eyetracked participants in order to investigate how disrupting the visual sequence of a comic strip would affect attention. Both when panels were presented one at a time (Experiment 1) and when a sequence was presented all together (Experiment 2), pictures were understood more quickly and with fewer fixations when in their original order. When order was randomised, the same pictures required more attention and additional regressions'. Fixation distributions also differed when the narrative was intact, showing that context affects where we look. This reveals the role of top-down structures when we attend to pictorial information, as well as providing a springboard for applied research into attention within image sequences.Copyright (c) 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-579
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • SEQUENTIAL IMAGE COMPREHENSION
  • VISUAL NARRATIVE STRUCTURE
  • REAL-WORLD SCENES
  • ATTENTION
  • CONTEXT
  • SEARCH
  • INFORMATION
  • GUIDANCE
  • SALIENCY
  • EVENTS

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