Effects of individual’s emotions on saliency and visual search

Patrik Polatsek, Miroslav Laco, Šimon Dekrét, Wanda Benesova, Martina Baránková, Bronislava Strnádelová, Jana Koróniová, Mária Gablíková

Abstract.

While psychological studies have confirmed a connection between emotional stimuli and visual attention, there is a lack of evidence, how much influence individual’s mood has on visual information processing of emotionally neutral stimuli. In contrast to prior studies, we explored if bottom-up low-level saliency could be affected by positive mood. We therefore induced positive or neutral emotions in 10 subjects using autobiographical memories during free-viewing, memorizing the image content and three visual search tasks. We explored differences in human gaze behavior between both emotions and relate their fixations with bottom-up saliency predicted by a traditional computational model. We observed that positive emotions produce a stronger saliency effect only during free exploration of valence-neutral stimuli. However, the opposite effect was observed during task-based analysis. We also found that tasks could be solved less efficiently when experiencing a positive mood and therefore, we suggest that it rather distracts users from a task.

download: saliency-emotions

Please cite this paper if you use the dataset:

Polatsek, P., Laco, M., Dekrét, Š., Benesova, W., Baránková, M., Strnádelová, B., Koróniová, J., & Gablíková, M. (2019)

Effects of individual’s emotions on saliency and visual search