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22 April 2010 Adaptive design of visual perception experiments
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Meticulous experimental design may not always prevent confounds from affecting experimental data acquired during visual perception experiments. Although experimental controls reduce the potential effects of foreseen sources of interference, interaction, or noise, they are not always adequate for preventing the confounding effects of unforeseen forces. Visual perception experimentation is vulnerable to unforeseen confounds because of the nature of the associated cognitive processes involved in the decision task. Some confounds are beyond the control of experimentation, such as what a participant does immediately prior to experimental participation, or the participant's attitude or emotional state. Other confounds may occur through ignorance of practical control methods on the part of the experiment's designer. The authors conducted experiments related to experimental fatigue and initially achieved significant results that were, upon re-examination, attributable to a lack of adequate controls. Re-examination of the original results and the processes and events that led to them yielded a second experimental design with more experimental controls and significantly different results. The authors propose that designers of visual perception experiments can benefit from planning to use a test-fix-test or adaptive experimental design cycle, so that unforeseen confounds in the initial design can be remedied.
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John D. O'Connor, Jonathan Hixson, James M. Thomas Jr., Matthew S. Peterson, and Raja Parasuraman "Adaptive design of visual perception experiments", Proc. SPIE 7662, Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XXI, 76620H (22 April 2010);

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