Cognitive Sciences Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for practitioners, researchers, and students in cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, and psychiatry. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

For my research I need to use emotional stimuli to use for habituation to certain emotion.

Are there any databases available (preferably free or not expensive) of non-linguistic stimuli I could use? (example: music, pictures, videos)

share|improve this question
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Yes! The International Affective Picture System (IAPS) is widely used.

From the IAPS instruction manual:

The International Affective Picture System (IAPS) is being developed to provide a set of normative emotional stimuli for experimental investigations of emotion and attention. The goal is to develop a large set of standardized, emotionally-evocative, internationally accessible, color photographs that includes contents across a wide range of semantic categories. The IAPS (pronounced EYE-APS), along with the International Affective Digitized Sound system (IADS), the Affective Lexicon of English Words (ANEW), as well as other collections of affective stimuli, are being developed and distributed by the NIMH Center for Emotion and Attention (CSEA) at the University of Florida in order to provide standardized materials that are available to researchers in the study of emotion and attention

The stimuli are completely free, but a request must be made by a faculty member (rather than a student). The reason they give for this is that "Making these materials familiar to the general public can seriously compromise their value as stimuli in many research projects."

You can request the stimuli here.

Lang, P.J., Bradley, M.M., & Cuthbert, B.N. (2008). International affective picture system (IAPS): Affective ratings of pictures and instruction manual. Technical Report A-8. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

share|improve this answer
Note to the OP that this lab also a database of "emotional sounds" that you can request (International Affective Digital Sounds; IADS). I have used IAPS extensively but have never really looked at the IADS and so can't make any comments about how useful it is. – Jake Westfall Nov 13 '12 at 7:01

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.