Training Melanoma Detection in Photographs Using the Perceptual Expertise Training Approach

Buyun Xu, Liam Rourke, June K. Robinson, James W. Tanaka*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Although a deadly form of skin cancer, melanoma is treatable if detected early. However, current rule-based training practices in melanoma detection are not effective. We assessed an innovative technique to train melanoma detection using the perceptual expertise principles. Participants in the training group were trained to categorize melanoma and benign lesions to 95% accuracy. Participants in the control group received no training. Prior to testing all participants reviewed the ABCDE rules. Training was evaluated by the pre and post tests using the Melanoma Detection Test where participants categorized images of melanoma and benign lesions. As compared to the control group, the training group showed significant improvement in melanoma detection and became less liberal (i.e., bias toward categorizing a lesion as melanoma), and both improvements maintained a week after the training. These findings indicate that perceptual expertise training is a promising approach to train melanoma detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)750-756
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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