Visual distraction in cytopathology: should we be concerned?
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Visual distraction in cytopathology has not been previously investigated as a source of diagnostic error, presumably because the viewing field of a conventional light microscope is considered large enough to minimise interference from peripheral visual stimuli. Virtual microscopy, which involves the examination of digitised images of pathology specimens on computer screens, is beginning to challenge the central role of light microscopy as a diagnostic tool in cytopathology. The relatively narrow visual angle offered by virtual microscopy makes it conceivable that users of these systems are more vulnerable to visual interference. Using a variant of a visual distraction paradigm (the Eriksen flanker task), the aim of the study was to determine whether the accuracy and speed of interpreting cells on a central target screen is affected by images of cells and text displayed on neighbouring monitors under realistic reading room conditions.
Evered, A., Walker, D., Watt, A., & Perham, N. (2016) 'Visual distraction in cytopathology: Should we be concerned?', Cytopathology 27 (5), pp. 351-358. DOI: 10.1111/cyt.12304
This article was published in Cytopathology on 21 January 2016 (online) available at https://doi.org/10.1111/cyt.12304
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
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