The importance of perception research in medical imaging

Elizabeth A. Krupinski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


The goal of this paper is to provide the reader with an introduction to the importance of perception research in medical imaging. It is well known that radiologists' performance is not perfect: they make both false positive and false negative decisions, both of which can impact on patient care and treatment. Some of these errors can be attributed to technical difficulties such as underexposing a plain film X-ray image. Such technical explanations cannot, however, account for all the errors that are made; missed lesions are often found in retrospect. These errors can be attributed to perceptual and/or cognitive factors. The study of why these perceptual and cognitive errors occur and what steps can be taken to ameliorate them is a relatively small but growing area in the field of medical imaging. Understanding the capabilities of the human visual system with respect to medical imaging is becoming even more important as we make the transition from the traditional film-based display to soft-copy monitor viewing of medical images. If we understand what the human visual system is capable of, we can tailor the display of medical information to take advantage of these perceptual capacities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-334
Number of pages6
JournalRadiation Medicine - Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000


  • Errors
  • Expertise
  • Eye-tracking
  • Medical image perception
  • Observer performance
  • Soft-copy displays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Oncology


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