The influence of a perceptually linearized display on observer performance and visual search

Elizabeth A. Krupinski, Hans Roehrig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives. The purpose of this study was to determine whether perceptual linearization of the tone scale affects the detection and visual search behaviors of radiologists searching mammograms for masses and microcalcifications. A perceptually linearized display is designed to match the capabilities of the human visual system more closely than a nonlinearized display. Materials and Methods. Six radiologists viewed 50 pairs of mammograms, once on a perceptually linearized cathode-ray tube (CRT) monitor and once on a non-linearized CRT monitor. Eye position also was recorded as the observers searched the images for masses and microcalcifications. Results. Observer performance was significantly (P = .003) better with the perceptually linearized display. Dwell times associated with true-negative decisions were significantly longer with use of the nonlinearized display. The number of fixation clusters generated during search was also greater with use of the nonlinearized display for the lesion-free images. Conclusion. A perceptually linearized display yields better detection performance and a more efficient visual search. Perceptually linearized displays should be used for reading radiographs displayed on CRT monitors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-13
Number of pages6
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000


  • Digital displays
  • Mammography
  • Observer performance
  • Perceptual linearization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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