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Iperception. 2011;2(9):969-91. doi: 10.1068/i0477. Epub 2011 Nov 24.

Emotional effects of dynamic textures.

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Intelligent Systems Lab Amsterdam (ISLA), University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, 1098 XH, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; and TNO, Kampweg 5, 3769 DE Soesterberg, The Netherlands; e-mail: ;


This study explores the effects of various spatiotemporal dynamic texture characteristics on human emotions. The emotional experience of auditory (eg, music) and haptic repetitive patterns has been studied extensively. In contrast, the emotional experience of visual dynamic textures is still largely unknown, despite their natural ubiquity and increasing use in digital media. Participants watched a set of dynamic textures, representing either water or various different media, and self-reported their emotional experience. Motion complexity was found to have mildly relaxing and nondominant effects. In contrast, motion change complexity was found to be arousing and dominant. The speed of dynamics had arousing, dominant, and unpleasant effects. The amplitude of dynamics was also regarded as unpleasant. The regularity of the dynamics over the textures' area was found to be uninteresting, nondominant, mildly relaxing, and mildly pleasant. The spatial scale of the dynamics had an unpleasant, arousing, and dominant effect, which was larger for textures with diverse content than for water textures. For water textures, the effects of spatial contrast were arousing, dominant, interesting, and mildly unpleasant. None of these effects were observed for textures of diverse content. The current findings are relevant for the design and synthesis of affective multimedia content and for affective scene indexing and retrieval.


arousal; dominance; dynamic textures; emotion; pleasure

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