The Nencki Affective Picture System (NAPS): introduction to a novel, standardized, wide-range, high-quality, realistic picture database

Behav Res Methods. 2014 Jun;46(2):596-610. doi: 10.3758/s13428-013-0379-1.


Selecting appropriate stimuli to induce emotional states is essential in affective research. Only a few standardized affective stimulus databases have been created for auditory, language, and visual materials. Numerous studies have extensively employed these databases using both behavioral and neuroimaging methods. However, some limitations of the existing databases have recently been reported, including limited numbers of stimuli in specific categories or poor picture quality of the visual stimuli. In the present article, we introduce the Nencki Affective Picture System (NAPS), which consists of 1,356 realistic, high-quality photographs that are divided into five categories (people, faces, animals, objects, and landscapes). Affective ratings were collected from 204 mostly European participants. The pictures were rated according to the valence, arousal, and approach-avoidance dimensions using computerized bipolar semantic slider scales. Normative ratings for the categories are presented for each dimension. Validation of the ratings was obtained by comparing them to ratings generated using the Self-Assessment Manikin and the International Affective Picture System. In addition, the physical properties of the photographs are reported, including luminance, contrast, and entropy. The new database, with accompanying ratings and image parameters, allows researchers to select a variety of visual stimulus materials specific to their experimental questions of interest. The NAPS system is freely accessible to the scientific community for noncommercial use by request at .

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Arousal / classification
  • Behavioral Research / instrumentation*
  • Behavioral Research / methods
  • Data Display / standards*
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Emotions / classification*
  • Face
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Human-Animal Bond
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Object Attachment
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Recognition, Psychology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Visual Perception*
  • White People
  • Young Adult