Human Response to Visual Stimuli

  • Alastair G. Gale


The human response to a visual stimulus depends upon many factors, not the least of which is the particular task set the observer. At the simplest level we may be interested in the detection (is it present?) or identification (what is it?) of a stimulus which may be just a small spot of light. Alternatively we may be interested in a more complex problem such as the detection of a target in a large visual field containing many possible targets. An example of the latter is the detection of a particular type of military vehicle from satellite imagery.


Radar Retina Gall Stim Noma 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [5.01]
    Galanter E. Contemporary psychophysics. In: Brown R., Galanter E., Hess E.H., Mandler G., eds. New Directions in Psychology. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston; 1962:87–156.Google Scholar
  2. [5.02]
    Jesteadt W., Bacon S.P., Lehman J.R. Forward masking as a function of frequency, masker level, and signal delay. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1982; 71:950–962.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. [5.03]
    Gescheider G.A. Psychophysics: Method and Theory. Hillsdale: Erlbaum; 1985.Google Scholar
  4. [5.04]
    Baird J.C., Noma E. Fundamentals of Scaling and Psychophysics. New York: Wiley; 1978.Google Scholar
  5. [5.05]
    Laming D. Some principles of sensory analysis. Psychol. Rev. 1985; 92:462–485.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. [5.06]
    Stevens S.S. Psychophysics: Introduction to its Perceptual, Neural, and Social Prospects. New York: Wiley; 1975.Google Scholar
  7. [5.07]
    Falmagne J.C. Elements of Psychophysical Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1985.Google Scholar
  8. [5.08]
    Myers A.K. Psychophysical scaling and scales of physical stimulus measurement. Psychol. Bull. 1982; 92:203–214.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. [5.09]
    Posner M.I., Snyder C.R.R., Davidson B.J. Attention and the detection of signals. J. Exp. Psychol.: General 1980; 109:160–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. [5.10]
    Norman D.A. Towards a theory of memory and attention. Psychol. Rev. 1968; 86:114–255.Google Scholar
  11. [5.11]
    Eriksen C. W. Attentional search of the visual field. In: Brogan D., ed. Visual Search. London: Taylor and Francis; 1990:3–19.Google Scholar
  12. [5.12]
    Lambert A.J. Expecting different categories at different location and selective attention. Quart. J. Exp. Psychol. 1987; 39A: 61–76.Google Scholar
  13. [5.13]
    Johnston W.A., Dark V.J. Selective attention. Annu. Rev. Psychol. 1986; 37:43–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. [5.14]
    Trevarthen C.B. Two mechanisms of vision in primates. Psychol. Forsch. 1968; 31:299–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. [5.15]
    Held R., Ingle D., Schneider G.E, Trevarthen C.B. Locating and identifying: Two modes of visual processing. Psychol. Forsch. 1967; 31: 42–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. [5.16]
    Treisman A., Gelade G. A feature-integration theory of attention. Cogn. Psychol. 1980; 12:97–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. [5.17]
    Julesz B. Towards an “axiomatic” theory of preattentive vision. In: Edelman G.M., Gall W.E., Cowan W.M., eds. Dynamic Aspects of Neocortical Function. New York: Wiley; 1984:160–187.Google Scholar
  18. [5.18]
    Breitmeyer B.G., Ganz L. Implications of sustained and transient channels for theories of visual pattern masking, saccadic suppression, and information processing. Psychol. Rev. 1976; 83:1–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. [5.19]
    Jonides J. Towards a model of the mind’s eye’s movements. Can. J. Psychol. 1980; 34: 103–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. [5.20]
    Beck J. Similarity grouping and peripheral dicriminability under uncertainty. Am. J. Psychol. 1990; 85:1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. [5.21]
    Mackworth N.H. Stimulus density limits the useful field of view. In: Monty R.A., Senders J.W., eds. Eye Movements and Psychological Processes. New York: Wiley; 1976:307–321.Google Scholar
  22. [5.22]
    Bellamy L.J., Courtney A.J. Development of a search task for the measurement of peripheral visual acuity. Ergonomics 1981; 24:597–599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. [5.23]
    Sanders A.F. Some aspects of the selective process in the functional visual field. Ergonomic 1970; 13:101–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. [5.24]
    Bartz A.G. Peripheral detection and central task complexity. Hum. Fact. 1976; 18:63–70.Google Scholar
  25. [5.25]
    Ikeda M., Takeuchi T. Influence of foveal load on the functional visual field. Percept. Psychophys. 1975; 18(4):255–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. [5.26]
    Edwards D.C., Goolkasian P.A. Peripheral vision location and kinds of complex processing. J. Exp. Psychol. 1974; 102(2):244–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. [5.27]
    Shepherd M., Findlay J.M., Hockey R.J. The relationship between eye movements and spatial attention. Quart. J. Exp. Psychol. 1986; 38A:475–491.Google Scholar
  28. [5.28]
    Cumming G.D. Eye movements and visual perception. In: Carterette E.C., Friedman M.P., eds. Handbook of Perception. New York: Academic; 1978:221–255.Google Scholar
  29. [5.29]
    Hallett P.E. Eye movements. In: Boff K.R., Kaufman L., Thomas J.P., eds. Handbook of Perception and Human Performance (Vol. 1). New York: Wiley; 1973:10–112.Google Scholar
  30. [5.30]
    Lancaster W.B. Fifty years experience in ocular motility. Am. J. Opthal. 1941; 24:485–595.Google Scholar
  31. [5.31]
    Thomas J.G. Subjective analysis of saccadic eye movements. Nature 1961; 189:842–843.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. [5.32]
    Ginsborg B.L. Small voluntary movements of the eye. Br. J. Opthal. 1953; 37:746–754.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. [5.33]
    Ditchburn R.W., Ginsborg B.L. Involuntary eye movements during fixation. J. Physiol. 1953; 119:1–17.Google Scholar
  34. [5.34]
    Fuchs A.F. The saccadic system. In: Back-y-rita O., Collins C.C., Hyde J.E.,eds. The Control of Eye Movements. New York: Academic; 1971:343–362.Google Scholar
  35. [5.35]
    Young L.R., Sheena D. Survey of eye movement recording methods. Behav. Res. Methods Instrum. 1975; 7(5):397–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. [5.36]
    Schoonard J.W., Gould J.D., Miller L.A. Studies of visual inspection. Ergonomics 1973; 16:365–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. [5.37]
    Herman P.G., Hessel SJ. Accuracy and its relationship to experience in the interpretation of chest radiographs. Invest. Radiol. 1975; 19:62–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. [5.38]
    Yerushalmy J. The statistical assessment of the variability in observer perception and description of Roentgenographic pulmonary shadows. Radiol. Clin. N. Am. 1969; 1:381–390.Google Scholar
  39. [5.39]
    Guiss L.W., Kuenstler P. Aretrospective view of survey photofluorograms of persons with lung cancer. Cancer 1960; 13:91–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. [5.40]
    Gale A.G., Johnson F., Worthington B.S. Psychology and radiology. In: Oborne D.J., Gruneberg MM., Eiser J.R., eds. Research in Psychology and Medicine(Vol. 1). London: Academic; 1979:453–460.Google Scholar
  41. [5.41]
    Tuddenham W.J. Visual search, image organization, and reader error in Roentgen diagnosis. Radiology 1962; 78:694–704.Google Scholar
  42. [5.42]
    Kundel H.L., Nodine C.F., Carmody D. Visual scanning, pattern recognition, and decision making in pulmonary nodule detection. Invest. Radiol. 1978; 13:175–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. [5.43]
    Rayner K., McConkie G.W. What guides a reader’s movements? Vision Res. 1976; 16:829–837.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. [5.44]
    O’Regan J.K. Elementary perceptual and eye movement control processes in reading. In: Rayner L., ed. Eye Movements in Reading: Perceptual and Language Processes. New York: Academic; 1983:121–139.Google Scholar
  45. [5.45]
    Carpenter P.A., Just M.A. What your eyes do while your mind is reading. In: Rayner K., ed. Eye Movements in Reading: Perceptual and Language Processes. New York: Academic; 1983:275–307.Google Scholar
  46. [5.46]
    Shebilske W. Reading eye movements from an information processing point of view. In: Massaro D., ed. Understanding Language. New York: Academic; 1975: 291–311.Google Scholar
  47. [5.47]
    Vaughan J. Control of visual fixation duration in search. In: Senders J.W., Fisher D.F., Monty R.A., eds. Movements and the Higher Psychological Functions. Hillsdale: Erlbaum; 1979:135–142.Google Scholar
  48. [5.48]
    Boynton R.M. Summary and discussion. In: Morris A., Home E.P., eds. Visual Search. Washington: National Academy of Science; 1960:231–250.Google Scholar
  49. [5.49]
    White C.T., Ford A. Eye movements during simulated radar search. J. Opt. Soc. Am. 1960; 50:909–913.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. [5.50]
    Ford A., White C.T., Lichenstein M. Analysis of eye movements during free search. J. Opt. Soc. Am. 1959; 49:287–292.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. [5.51]
    Loftus G.R. Eye fixations and recognition memory for pictures. Cogn. Psychol. 1972; 3:525–551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. [5.52]
    Berlyne D.E. The influence of complexity and novelty in visual figures on orienting responses. J. Exp. Psychol. 1958; 55:289–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. [5.53]
    Yarbus A.L. Eye Movements and Vision. New York: Plenum; 1967.Google Scholar
  54. [5.54]
    Baker M.A., Loeb M. Implications of measurements of eye fixations for a psychophysic of form perception. Percept. Psychophys. 1973: 13(2): 185–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. [5.55]
    Zusne L., Michels K.M. Nonrepresentational shapes and eye movements. Percept Mot. Skills 1964; 18:11–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. [5.56]
    Mackworth N.H., Morandi A.J. The gaze selects informative details within pictures. Percept. Psychophys. 1967; 2(11):547–552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. [5.57]
    Buswell G. How People Look at Pictures. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1935.Google Scholar
  58. [5.58]
    Hughes P.K., Cole B.L. The effect of attentional demand on eye movement behavior when driving. In: Gale A.G., Freeman M.H., Haslegrave C.M. et al., eds. Vision in Vehicles II. Amsterdam: North Holland; 1988: 221–230.Google Scholar
  59. [5.59]
    Hochberg J. In the mind’s eye. In: Haber R.N., ed. Contemporary Theory in Visual Perception. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston; 1968:309–331.Google Scholar
  60. [5.60]
    Gibson J.J. The Senses Considered as Perceptual Systems. Boston: Houghton Mifflin; 1966.Google Scholar
  61. [5.61]
    Neisser U. Conitive Psychology. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts; 1967.Google Scholar
  62. [5.62]
    Kundel H.L., La Follette P.S. Visual search patterns and experience with radiological images. Radiology 1972; 103:523–528.Google Scholar
  63. [5.63]
    Mourant R.R., Rockwell T.H., Rackoff N.J. Driver eye movements and visual workload. Highway Res. Rec. 1969; 292:1–10.Google Scholar
  64. [5.64]
    Kundel H.L., Wright D.J. The influence of prior knowledge of visual search strategies during the viewing of chest radiographs. Radiology 1969; 93:315–320.Google Scholar
  65. [5.65]
    Gale A.G., Worthington B.S. Scanning strategies in radiology. In: Groner R., Menz C., Fisher D.F., Monty R.A., eds. Eye Movements and Psychological Factors: International View. Hillsdale: Erlbaum; 1983: 169–191.Google Scholar
  66. [5.66]
    Tuddenham W.J., Calvert W.F. Visual search patterns in Roentgen diagnosis. Radiology 1961; 76:255–256.Google Scholar
  67. [5.67]
    Walker-Smith G., Gale A.G., Findlay J.M. Eye movements during pattern perception. Perception 1977; 6:313–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. [5.68]
    Llewelyn-Thomas E. Search behavior. Radiol. Clin. N. Am. 1969; 7:403–417.Google Scholar
  69. [5.69]
    Noton D., Stark L. Scan paths in eye movements during pattern perception. Science 1971; 171:308–311.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. [5.70]
    Stark L., Ellis S.R. Scan paths revisited: Cognitive models direct active looking. In: Fisher D.F., Monty R.A., Senders J.W., eds. Eye Movements: Cognition and Visual Perception. Hillsdale: Erlbaum; 1981:193–226.Google Scholar
  71. [5.71]
    Ellis S.R., Smith J.D. Patterns of statistical dependency in visual scanning. In: Groner R., McConkie G.W., Menz C., eds. Eye Movements and Human Information Processing. Amsterdam: North Holland; 1985:221–238.Google Scholar
  72. [5.72]
    Spitz H.H. Scan paths and pattern recognition. Science 1971; 173:753.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. [5.73]
    Didday R.L., Arbid M.A. Eye movements and visual perception: A ‘two visual system’ model. Int. J. Man-Machine Stud. 1975; 7:547–569.MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. [5.74]
    Locher P.J., Nodine C.F. The role of scan paths in the recognition of random shapes. Percept. Psychophys. 1972; 15(2):308–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. [5.75]
    Gale A.G., Findlay J.M. Eye movement patterns in viewing ambiguous figures. In: Groner R., Menz C., Fisher D.F., Monty R.A., eds. Eye Movements and Psychological Functions: International Views. Hillsdale: Erlbaum; 1983: 145–168.Google Scholar
  76. [5.76]
    Groner R., Walder F., Groner M. Looking at faces: Local and global aspects of scan paths. In: Gale A.G., Johnson F., eds. Theoretical and Applied Aspects and Eye Movement Research. Amsterdam: North Holland; 1984: 523–533.Google Scholar
  77. [5.77]
    Groner R. Eye movements, attention and visual information processing: Some experimental results and methodological considerations. In: Luer G., Lass U., Shallo-Hoffman J., eds. Eye Movement Research: Psyiological and Psychological Aspects. Toronto: C.J. Hogrefe; 1988: 295–319.Google Scholar
  78. [5.78]
    Groner R., Menz C. The effects of stimulus characteristics, task requirements, and individual differences on scanning patterns. In: Groner R., McConkie G.W., Menz C., eds. Eye Movements and Human Information Processing. Proceedings of the XXIII International Congress of Psychology. Amsterdam: North Holland; 1985: 239–250.Google Scholar
  79. [5.79]
    Smoker W.R.K., Berbaum K.S., Luebke N.H., Jacoby C.G. Spatial perception testing in diagnostic radiology. Am. J. Roentg. 1984; 143: 1105–1109.Google Scholar
  80. [5.80]
    Walker G.E., Gale A.G., Roebuck E.J., Worthington B.S. Training and aptitude for mammographic inspection. In Megaw E.D., ed. Contemporary Ergonomics. London: Taylor and Francis; 1989: 456–460.Google Scholar
  81. [5.81]
    Just M.A., Carpenter RA. A theeory of reading: From eye fixation to comprehension. Pychol. Rev. 1980; 87: 329–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. [5.82]
    Colquhoun W.R Circadian variations in mental efficiency. In: Colquhoun W.P., ed. Biological Rhythms and Human Performance. London: Academic; 1971: 39–107.Google Scholar
  83. [5.83]
    Monk T.H. Temporal effects in visual search. In Clare J.N., Sinclair M.A., eds. Search and the Human Observer. London: Taylor and Francis; 1979: 30–39.Google Scholar
  84. [5.84]
    Folkard S., Monk T.H. Chronopsychology: Circadian rhythms and human performance. In: Gale A., Edwards J., eds. Physilogical Correlates of Human Behavior. London: Academic; 1983: 52–78.Google Scholar
  85. [5.85]
    Gale A.G., Murray D., Millar K., Worthington B.S. Circadian variation in radiology. In: Gale A.G., Johnson E, eds. Theoretical and Applied Aspects of Eye Movement Research. Amsterdam: North Holland; 1984: 312–321.Google Scholar
  86. [5.86]
    Chi M.T.H., Glaser R. Farr M.J. The Nature of Expertise. Hillsdale NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum; 1988.Google Scholar
  87. [5.87]
    Getty D.J. Assisting the radiologists to greater accuracy. In: Kundel H.L., ed. Medical Imaging 1996; image perception, Proc SPIE, in press.Google Scholar
  88. [5.88]
    Gale A.G., Astley S.M., Dance D.R. & Cairns A.Y. Digital Mammography. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 1994.Google Scholar
  89. [5.89]
    Hutt I.W., Astley S.M., & Boggis C.R.M. Prompting as an aid in mammography. In: Gale A.G., Astley S.M., Dance D.R. & Cairns A.Y., eds. Digital Mammography. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 1994.Google Scholar
  90. [5.90]
    Nodine C.F., Kundel H.L. Computer aided perception aids pulmonary nodule detection. In Kundel H.L., ed. Medical Imaging 1994; image perception, Proc SPIE 2166; 1994; 55–59.Google Scholar
  91. [5.91]
    Sharpies M. Computer based tutoring of visual concepts: from novice to expert J. Compt. Assist. Learn. 1991; 7: 123–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alastair G. Gale

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations