Reading hybrid texts : remarks on text/image transitions

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Reading hybrid texts : remarks on text/image transitions

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Title: Reading hybrid texts : remarks on text/image transitions
Author: Baptista, Adriana; Faria, Isabel; Luegi, Paula
Abstract: The reading of printed materials implies the visual processing of information originated in two distinct semiotic systems. The rapid identification of redundancy, complementation or contradiction rhetoric strategies between the two information types may be crucial for an adequate interpretation of bimodal materials. Hybrid texts (verbal and visual) are particular instances of bimodal materials, where the redundant information is often neglected while the complementary and the contradictory ones are essential.Studies using the 504 ASL eye-tracking system while reading either additive or exhibiting captions (Baptista, 2009) revealed fixations on the verbal material and transitions between the written and the pictorial in a much higher number and duration than the initially foreseen as necessary to read the verbal text. We therefore hypothesized that confirmation strategies of the written information are taking place, by using information available in the other semiotic system.Such eye-gaze patterns obtained from denotative texts and pictures seem to contradict some of the scarce existing data on visual processing of texts and images, namely cartoons (Carroll, Young and Guertain, 1992), descriptive captions (Hegarty, 1992 a and b), and advertising images with descriptive and explanatory texts (cf. Rayner and Rotello, 2001, who refer to a previous reading of the whole text before looking at the image, or even Rayner, Miller and Rotello, 2008 who refer to an earlier and longer look at the picture) and seem to consolidate findings of Radach et al. (2003) on systematic transitions between text and image.By framing interest areas in the printed pictorial material of non redundant hybrid texts, we have identified the specific areas where transitions take place after fixations in the verbal text. The way those transitions are processed brings a new interest to further research.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10437/2308
Date: 2011


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