Salience in paintings: Bottom-up influences on eye fixations.

Isabella Fuchs-Leitner, Ulrich Ansorge, Christoph Redies, Helmut Leder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


In the current study, we investigated whether visual salience attracts attention in a bottom-up manner. We presented abstract and depictive paintings as well as photographs to naïve participants in free-viewing (Experiment 1) and target-search (Experiment 2) tasks. Image salience was computed in terms of local feature contrasts in color, luminance, and orientation. Based on the theories of stimulus-driven salience effects on attention and fixations, we expected salience effects in all conditions and a characteristic short-lived temporal profile of the salience-driven effect on fixations. Our results confirmed the predictions. Results are discussed in terms of their potential implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-36
Number of pages12
JournalCognitive Computation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • Art perception
  • Eye movements
  • Salience
  • Visual attention


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