PREVIOUS RESEARCH HAS DEMONSTRATED THAT MUSICAL soundtracks can influence the emotional impact, interpretation, and remembering of visual information. The present research examines the reverse relationship and whether visual information influences the perception and memory of music. In Experiment 1, listeners were presented with affectively ambiguous tunes paired with visual displays varying in their affect (positive, negative) and format (video, montage), or a control condition (no visual information at all). After each, participants were asked to provide a set of perceptual ratings that evaluated different melody characteristics and qualities of the visual displays. Results showed that both the affect and format of visual information differentially influenced the way a melody was perceived. Experiment 2 extended these findings by revealing that the affect of visual displays distorted melody recognition in a mood congruent fashion. These results are discussed in terms of their theoretical implications for audiovisual processing.
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