Volumetric image interpretation in radiology: scroll behavior and cognitive processes

L. den Boer, M.F. van der Schaaf, Koen L. Vinken, Chris P. Mol, Bobby G. Stuijfzand, Anouk van der Gijp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The interpretation of medical images is a primary task for radiologists. Besides two-dimensional (2D) images, current imaging technologies allow for volumetric display of medical images. Whereas current radiology practice increasingly uses volumetric images, the majority of studies on medical image interpretation is conducted on 2D images. The current study aimed to gain deeper insight into the volumetric image interpretation process by examining this process in twenty radiology trainees who all completed four volumetric image cases. Two types of data were obtained concerning scroll behaviors and think-aloud data. Types of scroll behavior concerned oscillations, half runs, full runs, image manipulations, and interruptions. Think-aloud data were coded by a framework of knowledge and skills in radiology including three cognitive processes: perception, analysis, and synthesis. Relating scroll behavior to cognitive processes showed that oscillations and half runs coincided more often with analysis and synthesis than full runs, whereas full runs coincided more often with perception than oscillations and half runs. Interruptions were characterized by synthesis and image manipulations by perception. In addition, we investigated relations between cognitive processes and found an overall bottom-up way of reasoning with dynamic interactions between cognitive processes, especially between perception and analysis. In sum, our results highlight the dynamic interactions between these processes and the grounding of cognitive processes in scroll behavior. It suggests, that the types of scroll behavior are relevant to describe how radiologists interact with and manipulate volumetric images.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)783-802
Number of pages20
JournalAdvances in Health Sciences Education
Issue number4
Early online date16 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • Radiology
  • Trainees
  • Volumetric image interpretation
  • Cognitive processes
  • Scroll behavior


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