Call for participation in the Frontiers Research topic: Mutual Interference between Emotional States and Perception of Visual Stimuli

Guest Editors:  Francesca Gasparini, Silvia Corchs, Gianluigi Ciocca


Perception of visual stimuli and emotional states are usually studied separately. However visual perception is clearly influenced by emotions as well as many emotions are elicited by evocative stimuli.

It is likely that part of the variance of subjective evaluations in psycho-physical experiments can be related not only to objective stimulus characteristics but also to emotions elicited by the stimulus itself. Moreover the perception of a stimulus is also affected by expectations, familiarity, and affective states of the observer.

Within this context, an interesting research domain is the field of Image Quality Assessment (IQA). Here little has been done that correlates human quality scores with internal states of the observers themselves. For instance: how do emotional states interfere with subjective evaluations? A complementary aspect is how does the semantic content of the evaluated images influence the final quality scores. For example: how do familiarity or emotional states induced by the pictures influence the judgments?

Moreover, as reliable subjective evaluations that represent the ground truth are one of the most important components for the evaluation and benchmarking of new image quality assessment algorithms, the selection of images to be used is crucial.

Usually, images chosen as reference in IQA experiments are selected with respect either to low level characteristics like color, frequency, number of objects, or to higher characteristics related to semantic content like presence of faces, animals, unanimated objects, streetscapes, landscapes. In general it seems that these images are associated more to “positive” or “neutral” valence values, while “negative” stimuli seem to be not represented.

Thus, with this research proposal we would like to investigate the mutual interference between emotional states and perception of visual stimuli. The aim of this investigation is to design and develop computational models taking into account the interaction between emotions and visual perception.
This research topic is intrinsically interdisciplinary and aims to integrate expertise from different domains of research.

Topics of interest of our Frontiers Research include, but are not limited to:
• image quality assessment,
• visual search task,
• image complexity,
• computer vision application,
• object detection,
• image understanding,
• visual clutter,
• visualization and interface design,
• advertising and marketing,
• image aesthetics,
• gist and attention.