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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Visual adaptation and the perception of radiological images (Conference Presentation)
Author(s): Michael A. Webster

Paper Abstract

The interpretation of medical images relies heavily on visual inspection by human observers. Many studies have explored how sensory and cognitive factors in visual processing influence how medical images are perceived and evaluated. But how do these images influence visual processing itself? The visual system is highly adaptable and constantly adjusting to changes in the visual environment. These adjustments recalibrate and optimize visual coding not only for simple properties of the world like the average light level, but also for complex features like the average blur or texture in a scene. Adaptation thus affects everything we see. The unique visual characteristics of radiological images suggest that they may hold the radiologist in unique states of adaptation. I will illustrate how this adaptation influences contrast sensitivity and the appearance of medical images. One proposed function of adaptation is to highlight novel information by “filtering out” the expected characteristics of scenes, and I will illustrate the implications of this by considering how adaptation may affect visual search for novel or suspicious features in medical images.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 August 2019
Proc. SPIE 10952, Medical Imaging 2019: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment, 1095202 (16 August 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2517081
Show Author Affiliations
Michael A. Webster, Univ. of Nevada, Reno (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10952:
Medical Imaging 2019: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment
Robert M. Nishikawa; Frank W. Samuelson, Editor(s)

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