Electroencephalographic beta coherence as an objective measure of psychological immersion in film

Jan Kruger, Stephen Doherty, Ronny Ibrahim

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    All audiovisual translation (AVT) modes mediate the audiovisual text for the audience.
    For audiences excluded from all or part of a visual or an auditory channel,
    this has significant implications in terms of comprehension and enjoyment.
    With subtitling (SDH in particular), we want the audiences to have the same
    quality of access to the characters and worlds that is afforded the hearing audience.
    Likewise, with AD, we want the audiences to have an equivalent experience
    to that afforded sighted audiences. Since the degree to which an audience
    becomes immersed in the story world plays an important role in this quality of
    access and enjoyment, it would be useful to find ways to measure immersion reliably.
    In this article we present a discussion on the measurement of immersion
    in subtitled film using a triangulation of offline and online measures. In particular,
    electroencephalography (EEG) as an online measure holds a lot of potential
    in AVT research. We present the results of a pilot study in which EEG beta coherence
    between the prefrontal and posterior parietal cortices is used as an indication
    of the degree to which an audience surrenders itself to the story world and
    experience the characters and events imaginatively in an immersed state. Our
    findings indicate that EEG beta coherence could be a valuable tool for measuring
    the fluctuating states of immersion in film in the presence of subtitles, but also
    potentially in the context of AD.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)99-111
    Number of pages13
    JournalRivista Internazionale di Tecnica della Traduzione/International Journal of Translation
    Issue number19
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • electroencephalography (EEG)
    • immersion
    • audio description (AD)
    • subtitling
    • cognition
    • online measures
    • offline measures
    • audiovisual translation (AVT)

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