Correlation Between Perceptual, Visuo-spatial, and Psychomotor Aptitude to Duration of Training Required to Reach Performance Goals on the MIST-VR Surgical Simulator

McClusky III, D. A.; Ritter, E. M.; Lederman, A. B.; Gallagher, A. G.; Smith, C. D.
January 2005
American Surgeon;Jan2005, Vol. 71 Issue 1, p13
Academic Journal
Given the dynamic nature of modern surgical education, determining factors that may improve the efficiency of laparoscopic training is warranted. The objective of this study was to analyze whether perceptual, visuo-spatial, or psychomotor aptitude are related to the amount of training required to reach specific performance-based goals on a virtual reality surgical simulator. Sixteen MS4 medical students participated in an elective skills course intended to train laparoscopic skills. All were tested for perceptual, visuo-spatial, and psychomotor aptitude using previously validated psychological tests. Training involved as many instructor-guided 1-hour sessions as needed to reach performance goals on a custom designed MIST-VR manipulation-diathermy task (Mentice AB, Gothenberg, Sweden). Thirteen subjects reached performance goals by the end of the course. Two were excluded from analysis due to previous experience with the MIST-VR (total n = 11). Perceptual ability (r = -0.76, P = 0.007) and psychomotor skills (r = 0.62, P = 0.04) significantly correlated with the number of trials required. Visuo-spatial ability did not significantly correlate with training duration. The number of trials required to train subjects to performance goals on the MIST-VR manipulation diathermy task is significantly related to perceptual and psychomotor aptitude.


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