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Visual memory size is important

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Every day we come across images of walls, newspapers, books and electronic devices. Some are etched into our memory and some are not. The factors that influence whether an image is remembered are not yet known, but researchers usually understand what an image will look like, regardless of whether the image is large or not, so researchers are looking at the image. It is assumed that the size and memory of are not related to each other. small.

A new study, led by Dr. Sharon Gilaier Dortan of the University of Bairan’s Department of Optometry and Visual Sciences and the Gonda (Goldschmeet) Interdisciplinary Brain Research Center, will show whether large images are better remembered than small ones in natural daily activities. I tried to judge. Her assumptions were based on the fact that large images require a visual system to utilize more resources to process them.

Research results just published in the journal Minutes of the National Academy of SciencesNatural vision, for the first time, shows that the visual memory of an image is affected by the size of the image on the retina. These findings can have many implications, including the use of different types of electronic screens and the quality of information processing when relying on large and small screens.

Shaimaa Masarwa and Olga Krechman, PhD students in Dr. Gilaie-Dotan’s lab, investigated what happens to visual memory when participants are asked to look at pictures without knowing anything about the upcoming memory task. .. Each participant was presented with different pictures of different sizes, each presented only once.

182 subjects participated in 7 different experiments. Researchers have repeatedly found that large images have better memory (1.5 times more) than smaller ones. This phenomenon did not depend on the particular stimulus, the order in which the images were displayed, the resolution of the images, or the amount of information contained in the images.

To understand whether this result was determined by size rather than quantity of detail, researchers also found that large and blurry images were larger than transparent small images that contained the same details as small images. I checked if it was successfully etched into the memory. Surprisingly, it turns out that even in this case, participants remember larger and blurry images better than small and crisp images.

They also found that most images are better remembered when presented as larger than when presented as smaller.

“In the area of ​​the brain that represents a retinal image, processing is determined by the area of ​​the retina that the image stimulates, so more resources are devoted to processing larger images than processing smaller images,” said Dr. Gilaie-Dotan. say. She points out more attention and interest that large images elicit, as additional factors such as various eye movements can contribute to the memory of large images.

This study was conducted on young adults aged 18-40 years with fully developed vision but not yet aging. Both age and screen experience are quite different, young and old, so different ages can be affected in different ways by the magnitude of the stimulus.

Although this study only looked at still images, the findings can have a significant impact on the “screen generation” that consumes much of the information in small electronics. “Even with dynamic images such as video, more vision resources can be devoted to processing video on large and small screens, so video on large screens can be more memorable. “There is,” said Gilaie-Dotan. In addition, many high school textbooks today are available in electronic format, and students sometimes study on their smartphones. Smartphone screens are convenient and accessible, but in reality, larger screens can improve the quality of learning. Gilaie-Dotan needs a lot of follow-up to understand how widespread the phenomenon is, whether it affects all processes in all situations, or only in some cases. It says that it will be.

reference: Masarwa S, Kreichman O, Gilaie-Dotan S. Larger images are easier to remember in naturalistic encodings. PNAS.. 2022; 119 (4). Doi:10.1073 / pnas.2119614119

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