Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Peter Vietze

Committee Member

Ken Sumner

Committee Member

Laura Lakusta


Eye-fixation tasks have demonstrated that emotionally charged and novel stimuli draw greater attentional resources than familiar or neutral stimuli. In the present study, these findings are tested as a possible cause for the consistent scene perception phenomenon of boundary extension. Three groups of participants were shown happy, sad, and neutral images and asked to recall these images after a period of 20 minutes. A drawing task was used to assess how boundary extension effects varied across emotional content groups. Each individual drawing was assessed for distortions in central image size. Magnitude percentage changes in central image size show significant differences in how emotionally charged stimuli are processed and remembered. Self-report data also indicates possible differences in how participants allocate attentional resources.

File Format


Included in

Psychology Commons