Attend our Workshop on Novel Directions in Vision Science and Visualization Research!

Following the last three years of fun interdisciplinary events at both VIS and VSS, we are holding the first official event for vision scientist and visualization researcher collaboration, interaction, and peer reviewed research-sharing at VIS. The specific goal of this workshop is to provide a forum where vision science and visualization researchers can share cutting-edge research at this interdisciplinary intersection, in preparation for publishing and presenting it at both IEEE VIS, as well as in the upcoming Journal of Vision Special Issue.

The workshop will feature short paper talks (~10 minutes each) as well as poster presentations with accompanying lightning talks (1 minute each). Select abstract submissions may also be considered for talks. See the Call for Papers below for details.

Finally, we are excited to announce invited talks by Jeremy Wolfe (Harvard), Timothy Brady (UCSD), and Darko Odic (UBC):

Visual search– Jeremy Wolfe

If you want people to find “it”, what should “it” look like? 

Decades of research on visual search have given us quite a good understanding of how people look for targets in scenes containing distracting items. Knowing how people search is not the same as knowing how to design searchable visual stimuli, especially if we want users to be able to search those stimuli for a variety of different targets. Still, the topics of search and searchability must be related so we will explore what the rules governing the deployment of visual attention might suggest to the creators of new visualizations.

Working memory– Timothy Brady

How much visual information we can hold in mind at once: The role of visual ensembles & semantic knowledge.

When processing complex visual displays, people often need to hold information actively in mind to facilitate comparison or integration. Decades of research have shown that our ability to hold information actively in mind is incredibly limited (e.g., we can miss large changes to scenes if we happen to not be holding in mind the right information), and simple rules like people can remember 3-4 things are popular ways to conceive of these limits. In this talk, I discuss what aspects of visual information people can easily hold in mind; what things are extremely difficult to hold in mind; and how these limits relate to visualization design.

Visual magnitudes– Darko Odic

How perception perceives number, time, and space.

The perception of visual magnitudes – length, area, time, number, etc. – has been one of the foundational questions since the dawn of empirical psychology, stretching back from Weber and Helmholtz to today. In this talk, I will share a number of insights, new and old, about how we perceive number, time, and space representations throughout our entire lifespan, focusing especially on issues that might be relevant for data visualization. I will first discuss findings about how our perceptual system deals with competing magnitude dimensions: situations in which, e.g., both number and length are competing for attention. Next, I will share several findings demonstrating that surface area perception is susceptible to various surprising inconsistencies and illusions, whereby we perceive collections of objects to be cumulatively smaller than they really are. Finally, I will share findings on how perceptual magnitude representations allow us to easily find the maximal and minimal element in a set.

Call for Papers

We want to make a few clarifications that we hope will help ease anxieties around cross-disciplinary participation. Our goal in this workshop is to provide an open space for both vision science and visualization researchers to exchange ideas. While submitting a workshop paper will not preclude extended work with at least 30% new content from being accepted to VIS and other visualization venues in accordance with community standards, we appreciate that the same may not be true for psychology venues. Policies around shared material with a workshop paper will likely vary from journal to journal, and we encourage you to reach out to contacts at any venues of concern. While the policies at various venues are beyond our control, we’ve updated our publication process in the following ways to try to reduce barriers to participation:

1.     Archive Optional: As part of the camera-ready revisions, you may elect to have either your workshop paper formally archived or have only the abstract archived. Papers with abstract-only archived will be made available to workshop participants through a password-protected site. Note that this would not change the submission process nor the kind of presentation your work will be considered for.

2.    Supplementary Materials: If you wish to provide additional materials, you may include them either through an OSF repository or as a direct email to

3.    Revised Deadline: To accommodate these updates, we will be extending the submission deadline to July 20.

We invite contributions to our 2019 workshop!
Authors may submit either short research papers, short position papers, or abstracts for lightning talks and poster presentations. The paper length should match its contribution to the field and be between 2 to 4 pages (plus 1 page of references) in the IEEE VIS submission format.

Suggested topics of interest include:

  • applications of perceptual theory to visualization research
  • novel evaluation techniques founded in vision science
  • vision science projects that have the potential to be applied towards visualization
  • visualization designs and tasks that pose interesting questions for perception research
  • novel operationalizations of visual or cognitive phenomena that can be studied in perception experiments
Timeline for submissions
Submission: July  15  20
Notification: August 5
Camera Ready: August 24
Submit to the Workshop on Vis X Vision here:!

Submission Types

The workshop calls for contributions from all areas of visualization and vision science. We accept 3 types of submissions—research, position, and abstracts:

Short Research Papers
These should comprise of empirical studies grounded in theories from perceptual or cognitive science. These might include the use of a novel evaluation technique, or a perception or visual cognition study that has direct implications for visualization research or design. These studies should aim to make progress towards the greater goal of collaboration and academic reciprocity between vision scientists and visualization researchers. Research papers must present new work, meaning that the results must not be published in an existing peer reviewed venue. They should be four page max + 2 page references. Accepted short research papers will be presented as a 10-minute talk. More details on short VIS papers can be found here.

Short Position Papers
These are problem discussions or statements describing the author’s relevant experience and ideas in regards to topics such as: applications of perceptual theory towards vision science, novel operationalizations of visual or cognitive phenomena that can be studied in perception experiments, visualization designs that have the potential to pose interesting questions for vision research, the role of vision in visualization, methods pertaining to collaborative efforts from these fields, etc. Position papers are often framed in the context of a brief review of literature, or are written as a review supporting a proposal for future work. They should be four page max + 2 page references. Accepted short position papers will be presented as a 10-minute talk. Here’s an example of a position paper (long-form, from a BELIV workshop) that we’re fond of.

These may cover any of the aforementioned topics, or other related areas. Abstracts should highlight research-in-progress, reviews, or experiments in preparation for journal submission, and must be 300 words or less. Authors should specify which presentation format they prefer in their submission by writing “talk preferred”, “poster preferred”, or “no preference” under the title. All abstracts will be considered for a poster plus lightning talk. Abstracts noted as “Talk Preferred” will also be considered for a full 10 minute talk, depending on the number of short paper talks.

*Benefits of submitting a short paper

Short papers can be a useful way for researchers to present early data, meta analyses, preliminary positions, or smaller chunks of a project. For instance, a short paper may contain just set of experiments that clearly demonstrates a specific effect or phenomenon, but may not investigate its underlying mechanisms or explanations. Short papers may be submitted to showcase a follow up or extension of a known method or phenomena in either vision science or visualization research. Short papers’ reviews follow the same scientifically rigorous expectations as journal articles, but give researchers an opportunity to get feedback on more focused aspects of their research.*

All submissions can be made here.


Short research or position papers should include 2-4 pages of content with additional pages for references only. The length of the submission should be commensurate with the contribution.

All submissions should be formatted in the VGTC conference paper style. Suitable templates, in LaTeX and Word, can be downloaded from here. The submission, however, must be made in PDF format. Authors can decide whether they want to reveal their names on the submission (single-blind) or submit it anonymously (double-blind).


Authors of accepted papers can opt-in or opt-out of archiving.

Authors who choose to opt-in will have their papers published in the IEEE digital library, including the assignment of DOIs to individual papers. Per IEEE Xplore rules, VisXVision papers will be considered archival, and can be referenced. The content of these papers may be sufficiently extended and modified for publication at other venues. Reuse of the content in a follow-up publication is only allowed in a formal peer-reviewed journal (no conference special issues) as an extended version of the work submitted to Vis X Vision, provided that the paper is extended by at least 30% (and subject to the rules of the given journal).

Authors who choose to opt-out will have their paper available to workshop participants only through a password-protected website. In this case, only the short paper abstract will be public-facing.