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Proceedings Paper

Radiologists' eye gaze when reading cranial CT images
Author(s): Antje Venjakob; Tim Marnitz; Jan Mahler; Simone Sechelmann; Matthias Roetting
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Paper Abstract

Gaze tracking is a common method to assess perceptual processes when reading medical images. However, little attention has yet been paid to multi-slice images. The present study examines the gaze data of four experienced radiologists reading 15 cranial Computer Tomography scans (CCT), five of which contain lesions. The participants navigated freely through the slices, while their eye position was tracked. Participants' visual search performance was examined in terms of: time per case, scrolling pattern including the number of runs through each case and number of oscillations within each case, fixation duration, time to first fixate a lesion and the initial dwell time on a lesion. The results of the study indicate that performance and reading strategy differ between radiologists. The greatest behavioral differences occurred between the two readers, who performed best. One of them, participant 4, showed extremely short periods of inspection, few oscillations between the slices, short initial dwells on lesions and short time to first fixation, whereas participant 2 performed equally as well, but took longer to read individual cases, went through the slices with many more oscillations, showed longer time to first fixation and initial dwell times on lesions. The behavior displayed by participant 4 is consistent with expert behavior reading 2-dimensional images. In contrast, participant 2's behavior resembles that of a novice, namely because of the systematic search pattern employed. The results hint that expertise may be characterized by various and diverse strategies.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 February 2012
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8318, Medical Imaging 2012: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment, 83180B (22 February 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.913611
Show Author Affiliations
Antje Venjakob, Technische Univ. Berlin (Germany)
Tim Marnitz, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Germany)
Jan Mahler, Technische Univ. Berlin (Germany)
Simone Sechelmann, Technische Univ. Berlin (Germany)
Matthias Roetting, Technische Univ. Berlin (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8318:
Medical Imaging 2012: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment
Craig K. Abbey; Claudia R. Mello-Thoms, Editor(s)

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