Within the spectrum of a natural image, the amplitude of modulation decreases with spatial frequency. The speed of such an amplitude decrease, or the amplitude spectrum slope, of an image affects the perceived aesthetic value. Additionally, a human observer would consider a symmetric image more appealing than they would an asymmetric one. We investigated how these two factors jointly affect aesthetic preferences by manipulating both the amplitude spectrum slope and the symmetric level of images to assess their effects on aesthetic preference on a 6-point Likert scale. Our results showed that the preference ratings increased with the symmetry level but had an inverted U-shaped relation to amplitude spectrum slope. In addition, a strong interaction existed between symmetry level and amplitude spectrum slope on preference rating, in that symmetry can amplify the amplitude spectrum slope’s effects. A quadratic function of the spectrum slope can describe such effects. That is, preference is an inverted U-shaped function of spectrum slope whose intercept is determined by the number of symmetry axes. The modulation depth of the quadratic function manifests the interaction between the two factors.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited