Advancing Research on Medical Image Perception by Strengthening Multidisciplinary Collaboration

Melissa Treviño, George Birdsong, Ann Carrigan, Peter Choyke, Trafton Drew, Miguel Eckstein, Anna Fernandez, Brandon D Gallas, Maryellen Giger, Stephen M Hewitt, Todd S Horowitz, Yuhong V Jiang, Bonnie Kudrick, Susana Martinez-Conde, Stephen Mitroff, Linda Nebeling, Joseph Saltz, Frank Samuelson, Steven E Seltzer, Behrouz ShabestariLalitha Shankar, Eliot Siegel, Mike Tilkin, Jennifer S Trueblood, Alison L Van Dyke, Aradhana M Venkatesan, David Whitney, Jeremy M Wolfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Medical image interpretation is central to detecting, diagnosing, and staging cancer and many other disorders. At a time when medical imaging is being transformed by digital technologies and artificial intelligence, understanding the basic perceptual and cognitive processes underlying medical image interpretation is vital for increasing diagnosticians' accuracy and performance, improving patient outcomes, and reducing diagnostician burnout. Medical image perception remains substantially understudied. In September 2019, the National Cancer Institute convened a multidisciplinary panel of radiologists and pathologists together with researchers working in medical image perception and adjacent fields of cognition and perception for the "Cognition and Medical Image Perception Think Tank." The Think Tank's key objectives were to identify critical unsolved problems related to visual perception in pathology and radiology from the perspective of diagnosticians, discuss how these clinically relevant questions could be addressed through cognitive and perception research, identify barriers and solutions for transdisciplinary collaborations, define ways to elevate the profile of cognition and perception research within the medical image community, determine the greatest needs to advance medical image perception, and outline future goals and strategies to evaluate progress. The Think Tank emphasized diagnosticians' perspectives as the crucial starting point for medical image perception research, with diagnosticians describing their interpretation process and identifying perceptual and cognitive problems that arise. This article reports the deliberations of the Think Tank participants to address these objectives and highlight opportunities to expand research on medical image perception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberpkab099
JournalJNCI cancer spectrum
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Published by Oxford University Press. This work is written by a US Government employee and is in the public domain in the US.


  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cognition
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Humans
  • Radiology/methods
  • Visual Perception

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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