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Proceedings Paper

What is degrading human visual detection peformance in natural medical image backgrounds?
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Paper Abstract

Experiments on visual detection in computer simulated noise (e.g. white noise) show that random variations from location to location in the image (due to noise) degrade human performance. Psychophysical experiments of visual detection of signals superimposed on a known deterministic background ('mask') show that human performance can be degraded by the presence of a high contrast deterministic background through divisive inhibition. The purpose of this paper is to perform a psychophysical experiment to determine the relative importance of these two sources of performance degradation (random background variations and contrast masking effects) in human visual detection in natural medical image backgrounds. The results show that both contrast masking and random background variations degrade human performance for detecting signals in natural medical image backgrounds. These results suggest that current observer models which do not include a source of degradation due to the deterministic presence of the background might need to model such effects in order to reliably predict human visual detection in natural medical image backgrounds.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 April 1997
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 3036, Medical Imaging 1997: Image Perception, (16 April 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.271311
Show Author Affiliations
Miguel P. Eckstein, Cedars-Sinai Medical Ctr. and NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Albert J. Ahumada, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Andrew B. Watson, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
James Stuart Whiting, Cedars-Sinai Medical Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3036:
Medical Imaging 1997: Image Perception
Harold L. Kundel, Editor(s)

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