Overt attentional correlates of memorability of scene images and their relationships to scene semantics

Muxuan Lyu, kyoung whan choe, Omid Kardan, Hiroki P. Kotabe, John M. Henderson, Marc G. Berman

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Computer vision-based research has shown that scene semantics (e.g., presence of meaningful objects in a scene) can predict memorability of scene images. Here, we investigated whether and to what extent overt attentional correlates, such as fixation map consistency (also called inter-observer congruency of fixation maps) and fixation counts, mediate the relationship between scene semantics and scene memorability. First, we confirmed that the higher the fixation map consistency of a scene, the higher its memorability. Moreover, both fixation map consistency and its correlation to scene memorability were the highest in the first 2 seconds of viewing, suggesting that meaningful scene features that contribute to producing more consistent fixation maps early in viewing, such as faces and humans, may also be important for scene encoding. Second, we found that the relationship between scene semantics and scene memorability was partially (but not fully) mediated by fixation map consistency and fixation counts, separately as well as together. Third, we found that fixation map consistency, fixation counts, and scene semantics significantly and additively contributed to scene memorability. Together, these results suggest that eye-tracking measurements can complement computer vision-based algorithms and improve overall scene memorability prediction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
JournalJournal of Vision
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

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