RSNA 2011 

Abstract Archives of the RSNA, 2011


What Can You See in a Single Glance and How Does This Guide Visual Search in Radiology?

Education Exhibits

Presented in 2011


Jeremy Michael Wolfe PhD, Abstract Co-Author: Research grant, Toshiba Corporation Consultant, The Procter & Gamble Company
Trafton Drew PhD, Presenter: Nothing to Disclose
Melissa Le-Hoa Vo PhD, Abstract Co-Author: Nothing to Disclose
Karla Evans PhD, Abstract Co-Author: Nothing to Disclose
Francine L. Jacobson MD, MPH, Abstract Co-Author: Research support, Toshiba Corporation
John Ryan PhD, Abstract Co-Author: Director, Vizovo Ltd and Vizovo Inc


Our two aims are to illustrate the role of scene “gist” or “gestalt” in medical image perception (c.f. Kundel, et al. Radiology 2007) and to show how processes known to modulate visual search and visual scene recognition could be useful in the practice of radiology. 


Radiologists can categorize mammograms at above chance levels after only a quarter second exposure to pairs of breast images even though they cannot reliably localize lesions after these brief exposures. We believe this is related to human’s ability to categorize natural scenes after very brief exposures. Several rapid ‘guidance’ mechanisms allow for non-random search of complex images. Guidance by basic features (like color) requires no learning whereas guidance by scene properties is learned.


It is probable that both hard-wired guidance by basic features and learned scene structure guidance are part of radiologists’ expertise. This exhibit will allow participants to gain a better understanding of how their perceptual abilities relate to their radiologic expertise. Moreover, an experiment with briefly presented Chest CT images will allow them to experience the ‘gist’ phenomenon. 

Cite This Abstract

Wolfe, J, Drew, T, Vo, M, Evans, K, Jacobson, F, Ryan, J, What Can You See in a Single Glance and How Does This Guide Visual Search in Radiology?.  Radiological Society of North America 2011 Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting, November 26 - December 2, 2011 ,Chicago IL.