Integration of spatio-temporal contrast sensitivity with a multi-slice channelized Hotelling observer

Barten's model of spatio-temporal contrast sensitivity function of human visual system is embedded in a multi-slice channelized Hotelling observer. This is done by 3D filtering of the stack of images with the spatio-temporal contrast sensitivity function and feeding the result (i.e., the perceived image stack) to the multi-slice channelized Hotelling observer. The proposed procedure of considering spatio-temporal contrast sensitivity function is generic in the sense that it can be used with observers other than multi-slice channelized Hotelling observer. Detection performance of the new observer in digital breast tomosynthesis is measured in a variety of browsing speeds, at two spatial sampling rates, using computer simulations. Our results show a peak in detection performance in mid browsing speeds. We compare our results to those of a human observer study reported earlier (I. Diaz et al. SPIE MI 2011). The effects of display luminance, contrast and spatial sampling rate, with and without considering foveal vision, are also studied. Reported simulations are conducted with real digital breast tomosynthesis image stacks, as well as stacks from an anthropomorphic software breast phantom (P. Bakic et al. Med Phys. 2011). Lesion cases are simulated by inserting single micro-calcifications or masses. Limitations of our methods and ways to improve them are discussed.

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