The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has announced a new, integrative funding opportunity for psychological scientists studying perception and cognition. Researchers will work to improve the accuracy of cancer detection and diagnosis by studying the underlying interpretation of medical images.
“This represents a huge opportunity for psychologists to bring their expertise to bear on an important real-world problem. The goal of this funding opportunity is to encourage collaborative scientific work at the intersection of psychology and medical imaging,” says APS Fellow Todd Horowitz, a program director at NCI.
As medical imaging continues to evolve from 2D imaging to more advanced 3D models, it becomes more important for the medical field to understand how the results will be processed. Despite all the advancements with imaging technology, the process still relies on a human observer to make the final decision. It becomes all the more important to understand how the imaging specialists interpret and read the results. NCI hopes to gain insight into how humans understand and perceive a 3D shape from 2D information, to better present volumetric information. Psychological scientists have a role to play in in the continued improvement of cancer screening and diagnoses.
“Correct interpretation of medical images is critical for detection and diagnosis of cancer (and many other diseases),” says Horowitz. “Every day, radiologists, pathologists, and other experts interpret complex images that are utterly unlike the natural scenes we evolved to perceive. Meanwhile, digital imaging, 3D imaging, and AI are rapidly transforming the field, and with it the cognitive and perceptual demands on clinicians.”
According to NCI, successful applications will focus on the perceptual and cognitive mechanisms of the cancer imaging rather than a descriptive study. Projects that address international cancer image interpretation are encouraged.
Application budgets are not limited but must reflect the actual needs of the project. The deadline for applications is February 5, 2020.
APS recommends speaking directly with Horowitz (email@example.com), the scientific contact for this funding opportunity, prior to submitting an application.