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Beliz Hazan, Daniel D. Kurylo; The Use of Infographics to Evaluate Visual Context Processing. Journal of Vision 2017;17(10):303. doi: 10.1167/17.10.303.
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The use of contextual information may be explored with infographics (informational graphics). Infographics is described as a combination of text, visual pictures, and graphs to demonstrate data, information and knowledge, as well as convey information through visual storytelling. Comprehending infographics has been associated with several cognitive functions, including attention, visuospatial perception, and visual working memory, as well as perception of holistic characteristics, a process termed Gestalt Thinking. The study described here aimed to develop an assessment tool of context processing by using infographics at different perceptual and cognitive levels. Observers viewed complex images and were asked specific questions about information contained within the image. Level 1 test items contained relationships among basic stimulus features, such as color and luminance, which required perceptual comparison and reasoning. Level 2 test items contained conceptual relationships among stimulus components, which required deductive reasoning. Performance was indexed as the level of feature disparity, where critical visual information was progressively made more salient. Assessments of verbal comprehension (vocabulary and similarity) and perceptual reasoning (block design and matrix reasoning) was based upon a standardized test (WASI II). Results indicated that unlike Level 1 infographics, a significant positive correlation existed between Level 2 infographics and matrix reasoning, which involves fluid intelligence, knowledge of part-whole relationships, and perceptual organization (Spearman rs=.897, p< .05). Unexpectedly, a significant negative correlation existed between Level 2 infographics and the similarities subtest, which involves crystalized intelligence and verbal concept formation (rs =-.901, p< .001). Results indicate that comprehension of Level 2 infographics, which rely on global relationships, is enhanced by visuospatial and perceptual organization ability, but weakened by greater ability in focusing on specific concepts. Results support a model of contextual processing that emphasizes global relationships and deemphasizes attention focus on image components.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017
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