The importance of presenting medical images in an intuitive and usable manner during a procedure is essential.
However, most medical visualization interfaces, particularly those designed for minimally-invasive surgery, suffer
from a number of issues as a consequence of disregarding the human perceptual, cognitive, and motor system's
limitations. This matter is even more prominent when human visual system is overlooked during the design cycle.
One example is the visualization of the neuro-vascular structures in MR angiography (MRA) images. This study
investigates perceptual performance in the usability of a display to visualize blood vessels in MRA volumes
using a contour enhancement technique. Our results show that when contours are enhanced, our participants,
in general, can perform faster with higher level of accuracy when judging the connectivity of different vessels.
One clinical outcome of such perceptual enhancement is improvement of spatial reasoning needed for planning
complex neuro-vascular operations such as treating Arteriovenous Malformations (AVMs). The success of an
AVM intervention greatly depends on fully understanding the anatomy of vascular structures. However, poor
visualization of pre-operative MRA images makes the planning of such a treatment quite challenging.