Attention, Consciousness, and Data Display
Ronald A. Rensink, Departments Psychology and Computer Science, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC, Canada.
2006 Proceedings of the American Statistical Association, Statistical Graphics Section [CD-ROM]. Alexandria VA: American Statistical Association.
[Joint Statistical Meetings, Seattle WA. Aug 2006.]
Recent advances in our understanding of visual
perception have shown it to be a far more complex and
counterintuitive process than previously believed.
Several important consequences follow from this.
First, the design of an effective statistical graphics
system is unlikely to succeed based on intuition alone;
instead, it must rely on a more sophisticated,
systematic approach. The basic elements of such an
approach are outlined here, along with several design
principles. An overview is then given of recent
advances in our understanding of visual perception,
including rapid perception, visual attention, and scene
perception. It then is argued that the mechanisms
involved can be successfully harnessed to allow data to
be displayed more effectively than at present. Several
directions of development are discussed, including
effective use of visual attention, the display of dynamic
information, and the effective use of nonattentional
and nonconscious perceptual systems.
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