Pertti Saariluoma


Pertti Saariluoma is professor of cognitive science in the University of Helsinki. He is specialist in cognitive psychology, especially in cognitive skills, apperception and imagery research. In addition he has worked on human computer interaction and theoretical issues in psychology.

Pertti Saariluoma has visited  and worked in Oxford, Carnegie-Mellon, Cambridge, Aberdeen Universities and IIASA. He has published among other things two books "Chess players´ thinking" and "Foundational analysis", which discuss about experts´ problem solving and presuppositions in experimental work.


Image and interface: Some psychological aspects of visualisation


The presentation discusses vizualisation from the psychological point of view. No visualization can be better than how it is understood by various
types of readers and therefore it is important to have a clear idea about the cognitive requirements of visualization. Consequently, both cognitive
system and the demands set for this system by various types of visualization systems must be separately investigated.

The major limitations of human cognitive systems such as the capacity of attention, and the different types of memories as well as the limits in
more content-specific processes such as apperception and thinking will be firstly studied. Knowledge of these psychological preconditions may make it understandable, why different types of visualisation problems must be handled differently.

The main distinctions between visualisation types are made on the ground of human contact to the presented material. The most important dimensions will be the difference between symbolic and analogical presentation format as well as between direct contact and navigation based presentation. The
former distinction refers to the mode of information format, i.e., whether it is analogical with the target like a photograph or symbolic like a word.
The second distinction refers in its elementary form to a difference between information presentable in a single screen information and multiscreen cases, in which all of the required material cannot be immediately perceived. All these cases set very different demands for cognitive system. By being aware of human limits, programmers should be able to make visualisation more efficient and communicative.

The whole lecture

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