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Proceedings Paper

Improvement in screening performance: the importance of appropriate feedback in screening mammography
Author(s): Paul T. Sowden; Regina Pauli; Penny Roling; Ian R. L. Davies; Sean M. Hammond
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Paper Abstract

After a brief formal training period screening mammographers are expected to further improve their skill as a result of learning from experience. However, it has been found that little improvement in screening performance occurs after initial training. One possible reason for this lack of improvement is because mammographers often receive no individual feedback on their performance during routine screening practice. While exposure to stimuli without feedback is sufficient to induce some types of learning, in other cases learning as a result of simple experience may not occur. In this paper we report two studies designed to investigate the importance of feedback for the learning of two visual detection tasks. Experiment one investigated whether the provision of feedback improved observers' ability to detect target features in x rays. Results indicated that in the absence of feedback no improvement in detection accuracy occurred, but that when feedback was provided performance improved. Experiment two examined the effects of feedback on the learning of a probabilistic target detection task using computer generated images. Observers' detection performance improved with practice. This improvement was not contingent upon observers receiving feedback although there was a trend for observers who received trial by trial feedback to exhibit better overall performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 March 1996
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 2712, Medical Imaging 1996: Image Perception, (27 March 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.236856
Show Author Affiliations
Paul T. Sowden, Univ. of Surrey (United Kingdom)
Regina Pauli, Univ. of Surrey (United Kingdom)
Penny Roling, Univ. of Surrey (United Kingdom)
Ian R. L. Davies, Univ. of Surrey (United Kingdom)
Sean M. Hammond, Univ. of Surrey (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2712:
Medical Imaging 1996: Image Perception
Harold L. Kundel, Editor(s)

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