Apr 22, 2016

From what we perceive to what we remember: Characterizing representational dynamics of visual memorability

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Seyed-Mahdi Khaligh-RazaviAude Oliva


Not all visual memories are equal − some endure in our minds, while others quickly disappear. Recent behavioral work shows we can reliably predict which images will be remembered. This image property is called memorability. Memorability is intrinsic to an image, robust across observers, and unexplainable by low-level visual features. However, its neural bases and relation with perception and memory remain unknown. Here we characterize the representational dynamics of memorability using magnetoencephalography (MEG). We find memorability is indexed by brain responses starting at 218ms for faces and 371ms for scenes − later than classical early face/scene discrimination perceptual signals, yet earlier than the late memory encoding signal observed at ~700ms. The results show memorability is a high-level image property whose spatio-temporal neural dynamics are different from those of memory encoding. Together, this work brings new insights into the underlying neural processes of the transformation from what we perceive to what we remember.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Transformation, Genetic
Visual Memory
Spatio-Temporal Analysis
Brain Function

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