Schedule of Events | Search Abstracts | Symposia | Invited Symposia | Poster Sessions | Data Blitz Sessions

Poster B132

Aesthetic Experience is Supported by Spontaneous Autobiographical Memory Recollection

Poster Session B - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Anna P. Smith1 (, Felipe De Brigard1, Elizabeth J. Marsh1; 1Duke University

What mental representations and processes support moving aesthetic reactions? We argue that the elicitation of autobiographical memories enables viewers to appreciate abstract art through an individualized understanding. In three experiments, we gave participants the opportunity to associate personal memories with works of art and measured how aesthetically moved they felt while viewing. We found that participants were significantly more moved by paintings that they could associate with a specific time and place in their life (Experiment 1). This effect replicated across all experiments and was present, albeit weaker, whether the memory was cued before or after their aesthetic judgment was made (Experiment 2). However, the positive effect of memory association on aesthetic experience disappeared when participants were asked to associate memories with all paintings (Experiment 3). These findings suggest that memory recollection enhances aesthetic experience when it arises spontaneously during art viewing.

Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic


CNS Account Login


April 13–16  |  2024