Technology and Perception in the 21st-Century Reading Room

Elizabeth A. Krupinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Radiology reading rooms have changed dramatically over the past 15 years, moving from analog-light-box-based environments to digital-display-based environments. Most of the focus in the early stages of this transition was on the technology, but it soon became obvious that it was not possible or even prudent to consider the technology without considering radiologists. The information being presented to radiologists in digital reading rooms is in many ways very different from that presented on traditional film. On one hand, the digital workstation display medium itself is very different from traditional film images hung on light boxes. On the other hand, without large-area light boxes, images such as those from computed tomography (CT) can no longer be displayed all at once in a series of film sheets. The digital world also introduces the possibility of manipulating image data in ways that were never possible with analog film. Not only can radiologists manipulate image data with various image-processing tools, but also, computers can analyze images and provide even more information to incorporate into the interpretation process. As a consequence of these differences, it has been necessary to focus attention on radiologists to discover ways to optimize the digital reading environment with respect to the human visual system and the way the eye-brain system processes information. This article reviews some of the important perceptual issues that have arisen in the digital reading rooms of the 21st century.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-440
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Image perception
  • digital images
  • ergonomics for radiology
  • medical image display

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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