Perception and Cognition Research to Inform Cancer Image Interpretation
Announcement #: PAR-17-125 (R01) and PAR-17-124 (R21)
Expiration Date: September 27, 2019
The purpose of this area of research emphasis is to facilitate research on the perceptual and cognitive processes underlying the performance of cancer image observers in radiology and pathology in order to improve the accuracy of cancer detection and diagnosis.
Despite technical advances in many areas of diagnostic radiology, the detection and diagnosis of human cancer via imaging remains fallible. For example, data from the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium show false negative rates of approximately 15.1 percent and false positive rates of 9.7 percent for mammography. Although some of these errors might be due to the limitations of the images themselves, a large proportion are attributable the perceptual and cognitive faculties of the clinicians and other specialists who diagnose, stage, and treat cancer (a.k.a. “observers”). Although some sources of perceptual and cognitive errors have been identified, for the most part, errors in cancer image interpretation are still largely unexplained. Research in perception and cognition will uncover important factors that influence how observers perceive, remember, learn, and act upon the images they view.