Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Reaction: Attention and Visual Memory in Visualization and Computer Graphics

This paper focuses on research which concentrates on the impact of viewer's attention and effectiveness i.e. his/her visual perception on the efficiency of how a visualization conveys information i.e visual analytics. The paper tells us about how a human eye processes visuals or images through preattentive processing. The paper puts forth different theories of how this processing actually works which is really interesting. These theories give us some insight on how the visual system might process a particular visualization with specific properties. One theory I particularly enjoyed reading was the similarity theory. We can actually relate to it practically as it focuses on how the visual system can take a lot of time or less time depending on how similar the targets and the non-targets are.

The paper also mentions how our visual system behaves when it is presented with an appropriate visualization and the material that we can hold in our memory after we see the visualization. The paper lists various characteristics which affect visual system's perceptive property and relates that to visualizations.
One excellent example is the video in which users concentrate on counting the passes that the team makes and unintentionally ignore the woman with the suit and umbrella. 

The paper is an interesting read and connects the aspects of visual system's ability to perceive and remember images and the consequences it has on the design of efficient and effective visualizations.