Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Reaction: Attention and Visual Memory in Visualization and Computer Graphics

This paper largely discusses human perception.The document discusses various studies and experiments carried out by researchers regarding human psycho physics and their relevance to scientific and information visualization. Theories in pre-attentive processing (detection of a specific target,its boundaries,region tracking and counting and estimation)is discussed.Pre-attention is a filtration process based on a set of visual criteria like size,color and so on. This is followed by a discussion of theories of pre-attentive vision.(Feature integration theory-which talks about associating features and attributes with a target,texton theory-what goes on in a single fixation ,etc.).This is followed by a section on visual expectation and memory ,which talks about memory prediction for recollection forms ,post attentive amnesia,attentional blink and memory guided search amongst others.The paper concludes with a section on how visualization and graphics field can harness on these perception studies to come out with effective visualizations conveying the right information.

The overall presentation of the paper is very good and detailed.The authors have chosen to describe some very simple experiments (like how only a few people noticed snatching the basketball from a person who has asked for directions or the inability of people asked to count the number of ball passes between 2 teams, to view a woman with an umbrella and a woman with a gorilla suit who walks past).They have also chosen some striking pictures to illustrate the concepts behind the research experiments.(One such illustration asking the user to identify a red circle among blue circles and a red circle alongside red squares and blue circles, was in fact discussed in an earlier class).