2 thoughts on “Bad Link: Why Your Brain Loves Closed Captioning

  1. In 2015, Dr. Morton Ann Gernsbacher, a professor at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, published an article in the journal Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences entitled, “Video captions benefit everyone.” In it, she reviewed more than one hundred studies on the benefits of video captioning and found that captioning “improves comprehension of, attention to, and memory for the video” for people of all ages and hearing ability.

    Those of us with hearing loss have long understood the benefits of captioning. What may come as a surprise to people without hearing loss is that they would also be helped. For example, Gernsbacher cited a 1983 study in which children with and without hearing loss were randomly assigned to watch a video in different conditions- with audio only, captions only, or with both. On a test of comprehension of the video, the children with normal hearing outperformed those with hearing loss in all conditions. But the most interesting result is that the children without hearing loss demonstrated better comprehension after seeing the video with captions than with audio, and still better with both. Similar results were reported in a study of second and third graders learning to read, and among second language learners.

    The benefits of captions are not limited to children. Adults also benefit from captioned videos. Whether viewing commercials or college course lectures, adults with and without hearing loss were better able to remember content when videos were captioned. With schools closed due to the coronavirus, education at all levels is primarily online with videos and lectures. This might be an opportune time for educators to consider adding captions to these presentations.


  2. Hi Catherine:

    If you can get to the post, then, probably, you can highlight the entire post, copy it, and paste that copy in an email or other post. If you can’t get to the text, I have no idea how to get to it unless you can guide me to where it’s posted, as I should be able to read it there.



    Mark Siegert, PhD



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