Improved observer dependent perception of weak edges when scanning an image in real time indicated by introducing 1/f noise into the primary visual cortex V1. Theory and experimental support

Australasian Coll Physical Scientists & Engineers Medicine
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Physical And Engineering Sciences in Me..., 2009, 32 (3), pp. 136 - 149
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We present results of a new process for generating 1/f type noise sequences and introducing the noise in the primary visual cortex which then enables improved perception of weak edges when an observer is scanning a complex image in real time to detect detail such as in mammogram reading sessions. It can be explained by an adaptation of information theory for functional rather than previous task-based methods for formulating processes for edge formation in early vision. This is enabled from a two "species" classification of the interaction of opposing on-centre and off-centre neuron processes. We show that non-stationary stochastic resonances predicted by theory can occur with 1/f noise in the primary visual cortex VI and suggest that signalling exchanges between VI and the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of the thalamus can initiate neural activity for saccadic action (and observer attention) for weak edge perception. Improvements predicted by our theory were shown from 600 observations by two groups of observers of limited experience and an experienced radiologist for reference (but not for diagnosis). They scanned and rated the definition of microcalcification in clusters separately rated by the experienced radiologist. The results and supporting theory showed dependence on the observer's attention and orderly scanning. Using a compact simplified equipment configuration the methodology has important clinical applications for conjunction searches of features and for detection of objects in poor light conditions for vehicles.
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