Dwelling on memorability: Effects of long-term picture memorability on the attentional blink

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic


Although people have an extraordinary ability to recognize and remember pictures of visual scenes, there are also large and consistent differences in how well different pictures are remembered (Isola et al., 2014). What determines a picture’s worth in memorability is not fully understood. Here, we used the attentional blink as a tool to investigate how memorability affects the selection and consolidation of a picture into working memory. Participants had to remember or ignore a picture of high or low memorability and they had to identify a trailing, masked visual target that appeared at an SOA of 140-700 ms. Memorable pictures produced a longer attentional blink than non-memorable pictures, but only when the pictures had to be remembered. This suggests that memorability does not affect attentional engagement for a to-be-ignored picture, while it does increase the time it takes to consolidate a to-be-remembered picture into working memory.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventPsychonomic Society's 57th Annual Meeting - Boston, Boston, United States
Duration: 17-Nov-201620-Nov-2016
Conference number: 57


ConferencePsychonomic Society's 57th Annual Meeting
Abbreviated titlePsychonomics
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • attentional blink
  • long-term memorability
  • scene processing

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