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Perceptual interactions in human vision and implications for information visualization

16 October 2009

PhD ceremony: R. van den Berg, 16.15 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Thesis: Perceptual interactions in human vision and implications for information visualization

Promotor(s): prof. J.B.T.M. Roerdink

Faculty: Mathematics and Natural Sciences


In our daily tasks we constantly make use of the information provided through our eyes. While this information generally gives a reliable picture of our environment, visual perception can also be misleading. For example, the moon appears larger when viewed near the horizon compared to when it is viewed high up in the sky, which demonstrates that that perception is context-dependent.

Ronald van den Berg did research on the question how visual perception of an object is affected by surrounding objects. One of the results is the finding that interactions exist in the brain’s processing of different visual characteristics of an object, such as its color, size and orientation. This finding has implications for "information visualization", for which some guidelines are proposed. Furthermore, his research shows that the so-called “crowding” effect is a general principle of visual perception and can be explained as the result of a simple integration mechanism. A final finding is that the amount of visual crowding in an image strongly correlates with human judgments of visual 'clutter', which is a first step towards an objective method to measure visual clutter.

Ronald van den Berg (Leeuwarden, 1979) studied Computing Science at the University of Groningen. For his doctoral research he worked at the Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Groningen and the Laboratory for Experimental Ophthalmology, University Medical Center Groningen. He will soon start working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Theoretical Systems Neuroscience Laboratory at the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, USA.


Last modified:15 September 2017 3.38 p.m.
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