Neurophysiological assessment of perceived image quality using steady-state visual evoked potentials
An approach to the neural measurement of perceived image quality using electroencephalography (EEG) is presented. 6 different images were tested on 6 different distortion levels. The distortions were introduced by a hybrid video encoder. The presented study consists of two parts: In a first part, subjects were asked to evaluate the quality of the test stimuli behaviorally during a conventional psychophysical test using a degradation category rating procedure. In a second part, subjects were presented undistorted and distorted texture images in a periodically alternating fashion at a fixed frequency. This alternating presentation elicits so called steadystate visual evoked potentials (SSVEP) as a brain response that can be measured on the scalp. The amplitude of modulations in the brain signals is significantly and strongly negatively correlated with the magnitude of visual impairment reported by the subjects. This neurophysiological approach to image quality assessment may potentially lead to a more objective evaluation, as behavioral approaches suffer from drawbacks such as biases, inter-subject variances and limitations to test duration.