A new study from MIT neuroscientists has shown that the most memorable photos are those that contain people, followed by static indoor scenes and human-scale objects.
Landscapes photos may be beautiful, but they are, in most cases, utterly forgettable, according to the study.
For their findings, the MIT team built a collection of about 10,000 images of all kinds - interior-design photos, nature scenes, streetscapes and others and shown to hundreds of people, some of which were repeated.
Each image's memorability rating was determined by how many participants correctly remembered seeing it.
The study result showed that different research subjects tended to produce similar memorability ratings.
"There are always differences between observers, but on average, there is very high consistency," said Aude Oliva, associate professor of cognitive science and a senior author of the study.
In general, images with people in them are the most memorable, followed by images of human-scale space - such as the produce aisle of a grocery store - and close-ups of objects.
Least memorable are natural landscapes, although those can be memorable if they feature an unexpected element, such as shrubbery trimmed into an unusual shape.
The finding will be presented at the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, June 20-25 in Colorado Springs.