Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Reaction: Attention and Visual Memory in Visualization and Computer Graphics

Human perception and visualization of images comprises of a number of stages of processing. There are various theories related to visualization, either preattentive or postattentive.  Low level visualizations are very rapid. A good visual design will also encompass need for long term retention of the images in human memory so that information contained in the visuals are effectively reproduced or recognized later. Change blindness is an aspect of importance.

Initial level visualization is a preattentive process.  This process is a filtration of the image based on criteria influenced by unique distinct features such as colour, curvature, distracters etc.  Such preattentive process is completed within a period less than 200-250 milliseconds. Preattentive   process also depends on current state of mind of the viewer as well as where his attention is focussed. What we see in single fixation relates to this process. When viewer is out of focus, how much and how long he remembers, are equally important for effective visual communication. Memory prediction for recollection forms an aspect of research in this area. Postattentive amnesia, memory-guided search, change blindness, inattentional blindness, and attentional blink are indirect methods of role of memory and expectations can be studied.