Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Factors & Systems


Human Factors and Systems

Committee Chair

Shawn M. Doherty, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elizabeth L.Blickensderfer, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Cass D. Howell. Ed.D.


This thesis was designed to determine how domain knowledge or scene content affects change detection. Twenty-four participants of medical professionals and non-medical professionals performed a change detection task using a flicker paradigm intended to be similar to saccadic movements or blinks. Each participant viewed 24 pictures on a computer screen, each picture flickering with a blank gray screen alternating between the original and modified version of the picture, and was asked to indicate when a change was detected by depressing a key. Twelve of the pictures were medical X-rays while the other 12 were everyday scenes. Reaction time, number of trials exceeding the 60 seconds allowed for the task, and response accuracy were measured. Results indicated that domain knowledge did not have a significant effect on the speed, number of trials exceeding time limit, or accuracy of the change detection task. However, results indicated that scene content did have a significant effect on reaction time, as all participants detected change quicker in the X-rays than in the everyday scenes. Scene content did not have an effect on response accuracy.

Included in

Psychology Commons