Searching for nodules: What features attract attention and influence detection?

Elizabeth A. Krupinski, William G. Berger, William J. Dallas, Hans Roehrig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives. The goal of the study was to determine whether there are certain physical features of pulmonary nodules that attract visual attention and contribute to increased recognition and detection by observers. Materials and Methods. A series of posteroanterior chest images with solitary pulmonary nodules were searched by six radiologists as their eye-position was recorded. The signal-to-noise ratio, size, conspicuity, location, and calcification status were measured for each nodule. Dwell parameters were correlated with nodule features and related to detection rates. Results. Only nodule size (F = 5.08, P = .0254) and conspicuity (F = 4.625, P = .0329) influenced total dwell time on nodules, with larger, more conspicuous nodules receiving less visual attention than smaller, less conspicuous nodules. All nodule features examined influenced overall detection performance (P < .05) even though most did not influence visual search and attention. Conclusion. Individual nodule features do not attract attention as measured by "first hit" fixation data, but certain features do tend to hold attention once the nodule has been fixated. The combination of all features influences whether or not it is detected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)861-868
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003


  • Eye-position
  • Pulmonary nodule detection
  • Visual search

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Searching for nodules: What features attract attention and influence detection?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this