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Concept: Photographs


How does volitional photo taking affect unaided memory for visual and auditory aspects of experiences? Across one field and three lab studies, we found that, even without revisiting any photos, participants who could freely take photographs during an experience recognized more of what they saw and less of what they heard, compared with those who could not take any photographs. Further, merely taking mental photos had similar effects on memory. These results provide support for the idea that photo taking induces a shift in attention toward visual aspects and away from auditory aspects of an experience. Additional findings were in line with this mechanism: Participants with a camera had better recognition of aspects of the scene that they photographed than of aspects they did not photograph. Furthermore, participants who used a camera during their experience recognized even nonphotographed aspects better than participants without a camera did. Meta-analyses including all reported studies support these findings.

Concepts: Photography, Camera, Photograph, Photographs, Daguerreotype


A combination of viewing photographs and listening to music can reduce pre-operative anxiety, say Spanish researchers.

Concepts: Greek loanwords, Photography, Photograph, Photographs


Visual artists and photographers believe that a viewer’s gaze can be guided by selective use of image clarity and blur, but there is little systematic research. In this study, participants performed several eye-tracking tasks with the same naturalistic photographs, including recognition memory for the entire photo, as well as recognition memory and personality ratings for individual people in the photos (Experiments 1-3). The results showed that fixations occurred more rapidly and frequently to a local region of clarity than to a comparable blurred region in all tasks, independent of the content of the photo in the local region, and even under instructions to look equally at both regions. However, this bias was reversed when the content of the photos was no longer task-relevant. In Experiment 4, participants located target regions defined by either clarity or blur. Fixations and manual responses were faster for blurred than for sharp targets. These findings imply that the saliency of both image clarity and image blur depends on viewers' goals. Focusing on photo content prioritizes regions of clarity whereas focusing on photo quality prioritizes attention to regions of blur. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

Concepts: Attention, All rights reserved, Photography, Local government, Photograph, Photographs


OBJECTIVE: To use a novel teaching exercise to encourage students to practice ophthalmoscopy and to measure the learning effect both subjectively and objectively. DESIGN: Comparative case series. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred thirty-one fourth-year medical students on their 1-week ophthalmology rotations with 89 in the experimental group and 42 in the control group. METHODS: Those in the experimental group had 1 eye dilated and their optic nerve photographed on the first day. The next day, these students received an unlabeled optic nerve photograph belonging to 1 of their peers (typically 8-10 per group) and were given 3 days to identify the student matching the photograph. The students in the control group were simply encouraged to practice ophthalmoscopy on each other without the use of photographs. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Both objective and subjective changes from the beginning to the end of the rotation were measured and compared between the 2 groups. RESULTS: In the 89 students who used peer optic nerve photographs, 75 (84.3%) showed improvement in direct ophthalmoscopy skills over the course of the week. In contrast, only 12 (28.6%) of the 42 control students demonstrated an objective improvement (P<0.001). The subjective confidence levels likewise were more improved in the students who took part in the optic nerve photograph exercise. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the task of matching an unknown optic nerve photograph to the correct eye of a peer leads to increased self-confidence and more proficient use of the direct ophthalmoscope. FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE(S): The author(s) have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article.

Concepts: Scientific method, Measurement, Education, Confidence interval, Rotation, Photography, Photograph, Photographs