Intrinsic Memorability of Pictures in Rapid Serial Visual Presentation

Nico Broers, Mary C. Potter, Mark Nieuwenstein

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic


Studies of long-term recognition memory for pictures have shown that some pictures are consistently more likely to be remembered than others (Isola, Xiao, Parikh, & Torralba, 2014). Do memorable pictures take longer to perceive than less memorable pictures? Immediate memory for 128 highly memorable and 128 non-memorable pictures was tested after they were viewed in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) sequence at 13 to 360 ms per picture. Recognition performance (d’) for the memorable pictures was markedly better than for the non-memorable pictures at all presentation durations. For memorable pictures, d’ increased steadily with increasing duration, whereas recognition of the less memorable pictures was initially low and only began to increase with durations greater than 120 ms. Thus, the memorability of an image is largely determined by initial perceptibility: memorable pictures take less time to perceive. A picture that is hard to grasp quickly is hard to remember later.
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

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