Boundary distortions for neutral and emotional pictures

I. Candel*, H. Merckelbach, M. Zandbergen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In two experiments, we examined Safer, Christianson, Autry, and Osterlund's (1998) claim that when emotional material is remembered, tunnel memory (i.e., the tendency to remember less of a scene than was actually shown) occurs. In Experiment 1, 81 undergraduate students drew photographs from memory after having briefly seen either four neutral or four emotional photographs. Both neutral and emotional drawings revealed boundary extension (i.e., the tendency to remember more of a scene than was actually shown). Experiment 2 relied on the camera distance paradigm (Intraub, Bender, & Mangels, 1992). In a recognition test, 60 undergraduate students judged the camera distance of previously seen neutral or emotional photographs. The majority of them demonstrated accurate judgments and neither extended nor restricted picture boundaries. Those participants who made an error more often displayed a boundary extension than a tunnel memory error. Taken together, our results suggest that boundary extension for neutral and emotional photographs is a more robust phenomenon than its counterpart, tunnel memory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-695
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin & Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003

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