Time course of satisfaction of search

Kevin S. Berbaum, Edmund A. Franken, Donald D. Dorfman, Seyed A. Rooholamini, Carolyn E. Coffman, Steven H. Cornell, Andrew H. Cragg, Jeffrey R. Galvin, Hiroshi Honda, Simon C.S. Kao, Debra A. Kimball, Tony J. Ryals, William J. Sickels, Tony P. Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    84 Citations (Scopus)


    “Satisfaction of search” (SOS) refers to the effect in which a second lesion remains undetected after detection of another lesion on the same radiograph. The objective of this study was to clarify our understanding of SOS by relating it to total time of inspection and time intervals before, between, and after discovery of lesions. Detection accuracy of native lesions in chest radiographs, before and after the addition of a simulated nodular lesion, was measured for ten observers. Analysis of data from this and a previous experiment showed that average perceptual accuracy of individual receiver operating characteristic curves was significantly reduced with the addition of the nodules. Plots and analyses of search time revealed that, on average, during a typical 46-second inspection of a case, simulated nodules were found at 18 seconds, native abnormalities at 25 seconds, and false positives occurred at 33 seconds. Time needed to find nodules did not depend on whether native lesions were present; time to find native lesions did not change with addition of nodules; and total search time was the same for images with one, two, or no lesions. The detection results show that the SOS effect was obtained, but that interrupting search in order to measure it also diminishes accuracy. Analysis of the time course data relates SOS to perceptual capture and strategic halting of search.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)640-648
    Number of pages9
    JournalInvestigative Radiology
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 1991

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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