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Poster D62

Predicting image memorability from evoked feelings

Poster Session D - Monday, April 15, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Cheyenne Wakeland-Hart1 (, Mariam Aly1; 1Columbia University

While viewing a visual stimulus, we often cannot tell whether it is inherently memorable or forgettable. However, the memorability of a stimulus can be quantified and partially predicted by a collection of features. Higher-level properties that represent the ‘meaningfulness’ of a visual stimulus to viewers best predict whether it will be remembered or forgotten across a population. We tested how the feelings evoked by an image, operationalized by valence and arousal, contribute to the memorability of scene images. We ran two complementary experiments to investigate the influence of affect on scene memorability, in the process creating a new image set (VAMOS) of hundreds of natural scene images for which we obtained affective ratings and memorability scores. From our first experiment, we found memorability to be highly reliable for scene images that span a wide range of evoked arousal and valence. From our second experiment, we found that both valence and arousal are significant but weak predictors of image memorability. Scene images were most memorable if they were slightly negatively valenced and highly arousing and least memorable if they were extremely positive or unarousing. However, valence and arousal together accounted for less than 10% of the variance in image memorability. These findings suggest that evoked affect contributes to the overall memorability of a scene image but, like other singular predictors, does not fully explain it.

Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic


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April 13–16  |  2024