Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Reaction: Attention and Visual Memory in Visualization and Computer Graphics

This is a very famous paper presented by Dr. Healey. I have come across this paper more than once in my graduate courses. This paper spans its study across multiple inter-disciplinary domains: HCI, Computer graphics, Psychophysics.

Dr. Healey presents the various stages in which a user interprets images. There is a pre-attentive visualization which gives us information reflexively. The user interprets this information sub-consciously without actually observing the representation. Many factors in a visualization play important role in this. Color, dimensions, position to name a few. This point is proved by the snapshots of the experiments that are included in the paper. One can find more intuitive examples on Dr. Healey's web page. The snapshots in the paper come from the applets that have been included on his page. Further the paper presents various aspects like postattentive amnesia, memory-guided search, change blindness, inattentional blindness, and attentional blink. We come across these things in our daily life but we seldom know what these are called or what is the reason behind these phenomenon. This paper does the job of conveying a reader a study of why these things happen. By using this knowledge we can better visualize data and thus convey it better to an end user.