How sound is the Pear Tree Story? Testing the effect of varying audio stimuli on visual attention distribution

  • Vilaró A
  • Duchowski A
  • Orero P
 et al. 
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Looking at the literature on the subject of audio description, there is a neglected area which is often mentioned but never studied: soundtrack. This article describes an empirical test with the aim of investigating one of the many thorny issues in audio description: how the soundtrack of audiovisual texts influences perception and comprehension of the scene. Viewers' perception of dynamic media can vary depending on the stimuli introduced, and likely also correlates with the viewer's cognitive intent. This piece presents the results of a test which overlaid various background sounds to a selected clip from the film The Pear Tree Story. Eye movements were recorded with an eye tracker while the clip was being screened. Further comprehension questions were then asked. The approach studied here is the classification of disparate viewing patterns through scanpath comparison, and the possible variance in visual attention that may occur due to the introduction of different auditory stimuli over the same dynamic media.

Author-supplied keywords

  • audio description
  • eye-tracking
  • media accessibility
  • perception
  • sound

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