[Pictures Near, Words Far] – People better process pictures that represent proximal objects and words that represent distal objects than pictures that represent distal objects and words that represent proximal objects. These results were obtained with various psychological distance dimensions (spatial, temporal, and social), different tasks (classification and categorization), and different measures (speed of processing and selective attention). … Pictures thus impart a sense of closeness to the referent objects and are preferably used to represent such objects, whereas words do not convey proximity and are preferably used to represent distal objects in space, time, and social perspective. (more)
[Voices Near, Faces Far] – When in love, people typically focus on a long-term perspective which enhances global [far] perception, whereas when experiencing sexual encounters they focus on the present which enhances a perception of [near] details. … In two studies participants were primed with concepts and thoughts of love versus sex. Compared to control groups, recognition of verbal material was enhanced after sex priming, whereas face recognition was enhanced after love priming. In Experiment 2 it was demonstrated that differences in global versus local perception mediated these effects. (more)
Unless these results are in conflict, then to absorb talking heads in near mode, listen to them on the radio, instead of watching them on TV. But to absorb a story in near mode, watch a movie instead of reading a book.