Visual memory for fixated regions of natural images dissociates attraction and recognition

van der Linde, Ian, Rajashekar, Umesh, Bovik, Alan C. and Cormack, Lawrence K. (2009) Visual memory for fixated regions of natural images dissociates attraction and recognition. Perception, 38 (8). pp. 1152-1171. ISSN 1468-4233

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Recognition memory for fixated regions from briefly viewed full-screen natural images is examined. Low-level image statistics reveal that observers fixated, on average (pooled across images and observers), image regions that possessed greater visual saliency than non-fixated regions, a finding that is robust across multiple fixation indices. Recognition-memory performance indicates that, of the fixation loci tested, observers were adept at recognising those with a particular profile of image statistics; visual saliency was found to be attenuated for unrecognised loci, despite that all regions were freely fixated. Furthermore, although elevated luminance was the local image statistic found to discriminate least between human and random image locations, it was the greatest predictor of recognition-memory performance, demonstrating a dissociation between image features that draw fixations and those that support visual memory. An analysis of corresponding eye movements indicates that image regions fixated via short-distance saccades enjoyed better recognition-memory performance, alluding to a focal rather than ambient mode of processing. Recognised image regions were more likely to have originated from areas evaluated (a posteriori) to have higher fixation density, a numerical metric of local interest. Surprisingly, memory for image regions fixated later in the viewing period exhibited no recency advantage, despite (typically) also being longer in duration, a finding for which a number of explanations are posited.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Visual memory
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2014 13:52
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2022 16:41

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