Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Reaction: Attention and Visual Memory in Visualization and Computer Graphics

The reader's attention and visual memory is largely impacted by the way information is represented. The author focuses on research which aims at improving visualization by understanding perception. The concept of preattentive processing is first explained and theories related to it are discussed. There are certain patterns that are recognized by humans without much attention and these patterns are called preattentive features. Determining a red circle from a pool of blue circles does not take much time and this is an example of pre-attentive task which usually takes less than 200-250ms.However it is not easy to identify a red circle from a pool of red squares and blue circles. Examples of preattentive visual features are curvature, lighting, density,size ,hue, orientation etc.

There are different theories on preattentive vision :feature integration, textons,similarity,guided search and boolean maps. Some of the challenges involved in information visualization like how to engage the viewer,how much information can be processed by the visual system are briefly discussed.The approaches followed by different people to predict where users will focus their attention or direct a viewer's attention are provided. The paper was an interesting read and helped me understand visual memory and attention.