Event-related potentials (ERPs) were used to assess arousal (low, high), valence (negative, positive), and stimulus repetition effects for normal and distorted images from the International Affective Pictures System (IAPS). Distorted stimuli were constructed by dividing each image into small squares and rearranging the segments randomly to produce a "scrambled" picture. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were elicited by presenting the normal and scrambled images as target stimuli, with a repeated visual pattern used as the standard stimulus. Participants (N=32) were instructed to press a button to the targets and ignore the standard. Stimulus repetition effects were assessed by presenting each stimulus twice in the normal and scrambled condition. High-arousal stimuli yielded larger late positive components for both the normal and scrambled pictures. No overall valence effects were obtained, but arousal and valence influenced component amplitudes for middle-latency ERPs from the scrambled stimuli. For the normal pictures, stimulus repetition was associated with increased component amplitudes for all potentials and decreased RTs of all affective categories. For the scrambled pictures, no repetition changes were obtained. The findings suggest that stimulus arousal level contributes more than valence to affective ERP measures for normal as well as perceptually distorted pictures. Stimulus repetition engages memory for previous normal picture items but is not influenced by affective category. Theoretical implications are discussed.