Using eye movements to study the reading of subtitles in video

Sixin Liao*, Lili Yu, Erik D. Reichle, Jan-Louis Kruger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


This article reports the first eye-movement experiment to examine how the presence versus absence of concurrent video content and presentation speed affect the reading of subtitles. Results indicated that participants adapted their visual routines to examine video content while simultaneously prioritizing the reading of subtitles, especially when the latter was displayed only briefly. Although decisions about when and where to move the eyes largely remained under local (cognitive) control, this control was also modulated by global task demands, suggesting an integration of local and global eye-movement control. The theoretical and pedagogical implications of these findings are discussed, and we also briefly describe a new theoretical framework for understanding all forms of multimodal reading, including the reading of subtitles in video.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-435
Number of pages19
JournalScientific Studies of Reading
Issue number5
Early online date11 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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