Amplifying Visual Analysis and Access through Data-Driven Sonification
Research Co-Team Lead
Research Co-Team Lead
Peter Coppin
Peter Coppin
OCAD University
David Steinman
David Steinman
University of Toronto
Abstract:
In visual information design and information visualization, the majority of the research, training, and practice is focused on the techniques for creating graphic representations, such as how to draw them, arrange them, or use computer programs to generate them. Typically, very little effort is put into understanding how and why people perceive, cognitively process, react to, and socially interact through graphic representations. We seek a scientifically-grounded understanding of established conventions in the applied visual arts to inform a principled and rational approach to Visual Information Design.

Amplifying Visual Analysis Realistic pictures are thought to provide rich details, yet outline drawings, and even caricatures, have been shown to enable responses with greater speed and accuracy. If outline drawings are more effective, which details of the rich graphic representation should be eliminated, and which should be "amplified" or "caricatured"? Does color aid or detract from decision-making in this context? And, if the former, to which elements should color be added? Are animations more effective than static pictures, such as a time series, or even a comic strip? Or would a static time series or comic strip, enable the audience to "step outside of time" in order to perceive relationships across the "frozen" snapshots, that would be imperceptible in an animation? Which graphic representation properties require learning before they can be understood, and which are more intuitive, perhaps by making the use of less-learned, biologically grounded, perceptual=cognitive processes?

In the example of blood flow visualization, these issues lay at the heart of problems in many fields, from education to public policy communications to effective rhetoric and persuasion skills. As just one example, with relevance to the CIV/DDD consortium, in the biomedical sciences, decades of engineering research have highlighted the central role of disturbed blood flow patterns in the development of treatment of the vascular diseases that cause most heart attacks and strokes, yet this knowledge is still not routinely used by doctors. A problem is the data-driven blood flow visualizations originally developed by engineers for engineers, tend to be rich in superfluous details, whereas recent investigations have suggested that perception of the gross flow structures would be adequate, and perhaps more effective. The way information is presented to doctors plays a direct role in the effectiveness of their decision making, and so the absence of effective and simple visualizations of blood flow is a barrier to their introduction to the clinic. We seek to address this class of problem. We could proceed through collaborations with many potential projects in the CIV/DDD consortium.
Ambrose Li
OCAD University
Andrea Jovanovic
University of Toronto
Kristian Valen-Sendstad
Simula Research Laboratory, Norway
Max Julian
University of Toronto
Michael Carnevale
Centre for Vision Research, York University