Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Reaction: Attention and Visual Memory in Visualization and Computer Graphics

In this paper, the authors have stressed upon the importance of human visual perception in the subject of visualization. The paper begins with a discussion on the way human vision categorises images. The discussion on preattentive processing of visual information by humans is quite elaborate and the detailed. The discussion have delved into actual facts like the phenomenon occurring 3-4 times every second of a waking life of a human. The examples of visual selection between colors and visual features discuss ion depth about the concept of preattentive perception.

For the theories proposed in this paper, the experiment conducted by Treisman is definitely interesting. She tried to classify preattentive features and measured the performance in humans by accuracy and by time. Further more in this paper a theory on texton has been put forth. This theory presents an interesting discussion on the categories of features that are determined by the visual system. It is stated that only the feature of a texton can be detected preattentively and its neighboring details cannot be perceived by the vision. More theories are elaborated in this context with regards to shape, size and other features related to visual perception. These theories focus on a common discussion of which property of an object draws a visual attention and focus first.

The next discussion in this paper is complementary to the first half and concentrates on what property of an object is retained in the memory after the object is visualised. This discussion has been well illustrated with graphics and images to support various theories. There has been in depth analysis performed on various factors like eye tracking, postattentive amnesia, etc. This discussion highlights the importance of the state of mind of the person while visualising information and its effects on the amount of information retention.

Further more in the paper, the authors have discussed how to choose between different visual models and the challenges faced with regards to visualising information. There is an interesting discussion on the topics of visual acuity, aesthetics and engagement. Thus the paper surveys in depth about the various theories of visual attention and visual memory. Overall the paper gives a well illustrated and well discussed attempt on the perception of visual information.