Publication Title
A cognitive approach to audio description. Production and reception processes
Publication Type
Book chapter
Title of edited book
The Routledge handbook of audio description
Year of publication


Audio description (AD) provides access to audiovisual materials for people with visual impairments and blindness (BVI) and offers a richer and more detailed understanding and experience. The cognitive approach to AD concerns perceptual, cognitive and meaning-making processes underlying production and reception of AD. By meaning-making, we mean multimodal textual and contextual processing, understanding and enjoyment both in sighted and BVI audiences. The chapter gives an overview of research, theories and methods used when investigating perceptual and cognitive processes and summarises relevant research from various areas, such as scene perception, visual attention, mental imagery, information processing, cognitive load, event segmentation, memory, multimodality, relevance, information structure and so on. The chapter further highlights a number of research questions that are important to investigate from a cognitive perspective and maps out a variety of suitable offline and online methods that can be used, including think-aloud protocols, keystroke logging, eye tracking, EEG measurements, focus groups, experiments and so on. For future research, an interdisciplinary approach and a broader variety of methods is recommended, as well as a combination of descriptive and experimental studies to test the effect of the AD product for BVI audiences. Also, a very important issue to focus on in future research is mental imagery.
Submitted by miguelaoz on Fri, 15/07/2022 - 12:38