Theranostics 2013; 3(10):774-786. doi:10.7150/thno.5138


Model Observers in Medical Imaging Research

Xin He, Subok Park

US Food and Drug Administration.

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He X, Park S. Model Observers in Medical Imaging Research. Theranostics 2013; 3(10):774-786. doi:10.7150/thno.5138. Available from

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Model observers play an important role in the optimization and assessment of imaging devices. In this review paper, we first discuss the basic concepts of model observers, which include the mathematical foundations and psychophysical considerations in designing both optimal observers for optimizing imaging systems and anthropomorphic observers for modeling human observers. Second, we survey a few state-of-the-art computational techniques for estimating model observers and the principles of implementing these techniques. Finally, we review a few applications of model observers in medical imaging research.

Keywords: model observer, medical imaging research