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Investigating the Association of Eye Gaze Pattern and Diagnostic Error in Mammography...

Publication Type
Conference Paper
Publication Date
Conference Name
SPIE Medical Imaging
Conference Location
Orlando, Florida, United States of America
Conference Date

The objective of this study was to investigate the association between eye-gaze patterns
and the diagnostic accuracy of radiologists for the task of assessing the likelihood of
malignancy of mammographic masses. Six radiologists (2 expert breast imagers and 4
Radiology residents of variable training) assessed the likelihood of malignancy of 40
biopsy-proven mammographic masses (20 malignant and 20 benign) on a computer
monitor. Eye-gaze data were collected using a commercial remote eye-tracker. Upon
reviewing each mass, the radiologists were also asked to provide their assessment
regarding the probability of malignancy of the depicted mass as well as a rating regarding
the perceived difficulty of the diagnostic task. The collected data were analyzed using
established algorithms and various quantitative metrics were extracted to characterize the
recorded gaze patterns. The extracted metrics were correlated with the radiologists’
diagnostic decisions and perceived complexity scores. Results showed that the visual
gaze pattern of radiologists varies substantially, not only depending on their experience
level but also among individuals. However, some eye gaze metrics appear to correlate
with diagnostic error and perceived complexity more consistently. These results suggest
that although gaze patterns are generally associated with diagnostic error and the human
perceived difficulty of the diagnostic task, there are substantially individual differences
that are not explained simply by the experience level of the individual performing the
diagnostic task.