August 2012
Volume 12, Issue 9
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2012
Aesthetic preference of oriented content in broadband images
Author Affiliations
  • Hillary Williams
    Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Louisville
  • April Schweinhart
    Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Louisville
  • Eleanor O'Keefe
    Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Louisville
  • Andrew Haun
    Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School
  • Edward Essock
    Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Louisville\nDepartment of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, University of Louisville
Journal of Vision August 2012, Vol.12, 1084. doi:
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      Hillary Williams, April Schweinhart, Eleanor O'Keefe, Andrew Haun, Edward Essock; Aesthetic preference of oriented content in broadband images. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):1084. doi:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Visual encoding biases may affect the aesthetic perception of an image (Zeki, 1999). Here we consider how biases in processing orientation (anisotropic suppression; Haun and Essock, JOV 2010) may impact aesthetic preferences. Visual performance is anisotropic showing an oblique effect for line (narrowband) stimuli and a horizontal effect for broadband stimuli (Appelle, 1972; Essock, et al., Vision Res., 2003). Aesthetic preference for classic Mondrian paintings rotated to different orientations favors content oriented horizontally and vertically (Latto, et al., Perception 2000; Haun, et al., 2006). Haun, et al. replicated this result and also found the same preference for Mondrian "noise" stimuli made with random phase. Furthermore, broadband noise images that were more heavily dominated by a single orientation band were more preferred regardless of which orientation was dominant and this preference increased as strength of the dominance increased. However, the established difference in salience to different orientations of content (horizontal effect) may have influenced these results. The current study examined the aesthetic preference for (1) broadband stimuli containing perceptually matched content of different orientations and (2) for images of natural scenes containing differing ratios of orientation biases. These two procedures addressed whether people prefer orientations which are predominant in natural scenes and suggested that aesthetic preference is related to the anisotropic processing of orientation. In Experiment 1 suprathreshold matches were first obtained, the subjects’ preference for broadband noise images consisting of orthogonally oriented components was evaluated. In Experiment 2 subjects’ preference for natural scenes with varied amounts of horizontal/vertical and cardinal/oblique bias were measured and related to the power difference. Results suggest a relation of orientation bias and aesthetic preference.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012


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